Breast Cancer Action Declares “Toxic Time Is Up” & Calls for End to Pinkwashing through Chemical Regulation

For immediate release

October 1, 2013

Contact: Angela Wall, Communications Director (415) 243-9301, x.16

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Breast Cancer Action (BCAction), the respected watchdog of the breast cancer movement, today announced its 2013 Think Before You Pink® “Toxic Time Is Up” campaign. The campaign calls for an end to the hypocritical practice of pinkwashing through the comprehensive reform of existing chemical safety law.

Since its launch in 2002, Breast Cancer Action’s Think Before You Pink® campaign has called for transparency and accountability in breast cancer cause marketing. BCAction coined the term pinkwashing to describe a company or organization that claims to care about breast cancer by promoting a pink ribbon product, but at the same time produces, manufactures and/or sells products that are linked to the disease.

This October, Breast Cancer Action’s Toxic Time Is Up campaign goes straight to the source, targeting the chemicals in pink ribbon and other consumer products. “We refuse to waste another October watching corporations make money off pink ribbon products that contain toxins linked to breast cancer,” says Jaggar. “And let’s make no mistake. Corporations are making money off pink ribbons while women are paying with their lives.”

Environmental health activists and industry alike acknowledge current toxic chemical regulation is long overdue. The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) has not been updated since it was passed in 1976. Under existing chemical law, only 200 of the more than 80,000 chemicals in use have been tested for safety. Breast Cancer Action and their partners are committed to ensuring any reforms strengthen current regulations and prioritize public health by preventing harm before it occurs.

“For too long the burden has been on consumers to buy “safer” products. But the fact is that without meaningful comprehensive chemical reform, there is no telling if the alternatives actually are any safer or not. Furthermore, these chemicals are everywhere, in everyday consumer products such as plastics, paint, clothing, and cleaning supplies which we encounter throughout our lives. Worst of all, some of these products that contain chemicals of concern are wrapped in pink ribbons to raise money for breast cancer. We need to stop this insanity once and for all,” said Jaggar

“Right now, the biggest win for cancer prevention we’ve ever seen is within reach,” said Jaggar. “The research linking environmental toxins and breast cancer is alarming and there is a tidal wave of public outrage directed at pink ribbon products that contain toxins linked to breast cancer. With 40,000 women dying of breast cancer each year, we say toxic time is up.”

All women living with and at risk of breast cancer are impacted by exposure to toxic chemicals. For the one of the quarter of a million women who will be diagnosed each year, research shows that treatments can be affected by exposure to hormone disrupting chemicals contained in many everyday products. And for women concerned about avoiding a breast cancer diagnosis, whether a recurrence or a new primary diagnosis, research implicates many everyday chemicals to an increased risk of the disease.

“Current chemical law considers chemicals innocent until proven guilty. Yet the vast majority of chemicals used in our everyday products have never been tested for their safety. In effect, we are all part of a massive human experiment with no informed consent,” Jaggar said. “This October, it’s time we stop walking in circles and go straight to the source—the chemicals in these pink ribbon products that are threatening our health and our lives the first place.”

Breast Cancer Action’s Toxic Time Is Up petition calls on The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works to overhaul and update the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) and to protect public health and prevent harm before it occurs. “It is time to move beyond breast cancer awareness. Action speaks louder than pink. We are building a grassroots movement to demand chemicals—including those that come wrapped in pink ribbons– are proven safe before they enter the market place—and our bodies,” says Jaggar.


Breast Cancer Action ( is a national non-profit education and advocacy organization that refuses to accept corporate funding from companies or organizations that profit from or contribute to the breast cancer epidemic.

This entry was posted in BCA News, Press Releases.