Tackling an
environmental disease

 HEA, UNISON, Co-operative bank and Scottish breast cancer campaign logos
Primary prevention is the answer


Taking action to the European level - The European Public Health Alliance

EPHA Environment Network (EEN) has welcomed the opportunity to support the campaign publication, 'Breast cancer: an environmental disease'. As a first step in putting the spotlight on what is known about the environmental causes of breast cancer, this publication will help women and other health advocates to build scientifically based arguments that they can present to citizens and to their governments.

To help achieve European policy change, EEN intends to work with Women's Environmental Network and Breast (Cancer) UK to inspire groups in different countries to undertake national campaign work. By sharing information on the links between cancer and environmental causes, EEN aims to bring the arguments for the primary prevention of breast cancer to the European political agenda.

Diana Smith and Genon Jensen,
European Public Health Alliance
Environment Network

Financial support has been provided by the European Commission through EPHA Environment Network

UNISON is proud to be associated with 'Breast cancer: an environmental disease'. Its origins lie in the Ban Lindane Campaign, which started in the UNISON East Midlands Region in 1994 and resulted in the banning of the pesticide Lindane in the UK by 2000. This campaign brought UNISON together with organisations including Pesticide Action Network (UK), Friends of the Earth, Women's Environmental Network, the Soil Association, Green Network and Breast Cancer UK.

The Case argued here is one of which we need to make politicians, media and the public in general much more aware. The increasing incidence of breast cancer is unacceptable and we need a deeper understanding of why this has happened. As human beings with finely balanced hormonal systems, we cannot be separated from the environment around us. If we know that environment to be contaminated, then surely we are right to assume that this has consequences for the human body itself.

More than one million UNISON's members are women. The rise in the rate of breast cancer is an important issue for them. We hope that this Case will stimulate debate and lead us towards effective prevention of this disease.

Part-funded by UNISON's General Political Fund

The Co-operative Bank refuses "to invest in any business whose core activity contributes to the manufacture of chemicals which are persistent in the environment and linked to long term health concerns". This investment decision is supported by 88% of customers, and so we are pleased to have been able to support 'Breast cancer: an environmental disease'.

Man-made chemical contamination of our bodies is a fact of modern life. Up to 300 man-made chemicals have been found in humans but no one knows the long-term impact of these and the risks they may pose.

As advocates of the 'precautionary principle', the Bank welcomes the Case presented here and the valuable contribution it will make to the debate. It is an important first step in developing a truly preventative approach to breast cancer one that is less reliant on early detection and instead demands that stronger safeguards to human health are immediately put in place.

Kate Daley Campaigns Manager
The Co-operative Bank

Financially supported by The Co-operative Bank

The Scottish Breast Cancer Campaign welcomes this much-needed Case, which draws together the many studies linking environmental pollution with the incidence of breast cancer.

SBCC is confident that this publication will open up the debate on the primary prevention of breast cancer and will lobby government agencies to ensure that it is given the consideration it warrants.

Moira Adams Director
The Scottish Breast Cancer Campaign

Financially supported by Scottish Breast Cancer Campaign


contact us | about us | a campaign of Breast Cancer UK reg. charity number: 1138866 in England & Wales; reg. company number: 7348408|
Reg. address: Breast Cancer UK Ltd, Solva, Southwick Road, Denmead, Waterlooville, Hants. PO7 6LA UK | last updated: 05/10/2006