By Karuna Jagger, Executive Director
Each October, multibillion-dollar corporations try to make money off breast cancer by telling us to buy their products to “support a good cause.” When 3M markets pink ribbon products, but also produces toxic forever chemicals that may contribute to an increased risk of breast cancer, that’s pinkwashing.
3M’s pink ribbon products can’t distract us from the fact that their PFAS are toxic and may increase the risk of breast cancer.
PFAS are called forever chemicals because they don’t break down, and evidence shows that even very low levels of PFAS exposure is not safe for human health. Researchers have found at least one PFAS in 98% of Americans.
Like many businesses looking to build their brand, over the years 3M has run several breast cancer promotions. 3M has marketed pink ribbon Post-its and is currently selling pink stethoscopes to “help the fight against breast cancer,” while continuing to produce and use PFAS that may increase the risk of breast cancer.
One of 3M’s own consultants warned that the chemical used for years in Scotchgard “is one of the strongest cancer promoters I’ve ever seen.” In addition to causing some cancers, PFAS interfere with normal hormone functioning. They’ve also been shown to suppress the immune system, the body’s first line of defense, which helps the body prevent rogue cells from growing into breast cancer. Even low dose exposure to PFAS changes the structure of the mammary gland and interferes with breastfeeding.
Marketing pink products isn’t enough! If 3M really cares about breast cancer, they will put our health before their PFAS-driven profits.