Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Environmental Prevention

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women in the United States (other than skin cancer). In the United States, an estimated 207,090 women will be diagnosed with and 39,840 women will die of breast cancer in 2010.

Click here for more information about breast cancer from the National Cancer Institute.

We may be able to reduce the chance that we and our children will get certain chronic illnesses or diseases by avoiding toxinsin our environment and making healthier, greener choices.

Here are my 9 Breast Cancer environmental preventiontips:

1. Avoid: Toxic cosmetics, skin care and sunscreens.

Why:Unfortunately, these products contain carcinogens, hormone disruptors and a long list of other ingredients that may be linked to certain cancers.

Choose: Healthy sunscreens and skin care cosmetics. Learn more in my bestseller, The Essential Green You! Easy Ways to Detox Your Diet, Your Body and Your Lifeand on our website's Safer Sunscreen page

2. Avoid: All Teflon and non-stick coated cook and bakeware.

Why: At 680 degF Teflon pans release at least six toxic gases, including two carcinogens, two global pollutants, and MFA, a chemical lethal to humans at low doses.

Choose: Cook with cast iron cookware or high-quality (18/10) stainless steel.

3. Avoid: Smoking, second hand smoke and car exhaust (avoid Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon, also known as PAH's)

Why:The chemicals in cigarettes and cigarette smoke contain poisons, carcinogens and heavy, toxic metals.

Choose: Clean air (See more at Clean Air Counciland Sierra Club)

4. Avoid: Toxic dry cleaning containing PERC (Perchloroethylene)

Why: The EPA identifies PERC as a known human toxin. It usually enters the body through inhalation and remains stored in fat tissue, impairs neurological function, along with a higher cancer risk.

Choose: Green dry cleaners. Find out more from the EPA

5. Avoid: BPA exposure (bisphenol A) in plastics.

Why:Prenatal exposure to BPA may be linkedto adult hormonal cancers, like breast and prostate cancers.

Choose: Glass baby bottles, as well as BPA-free water bottlesand BPA free canned food.

Choose BPA-free canned foods, ie: organic soups, etc.)

6. Avoid: Being still, sedentary, couch potato.

Choose: Exercise daily - whether it's walking, running, yoga, decide.

Why:Reduces the risk of breast cancer by lowering estradiol and progesterone, two ovarian hormones linked to breast cancer tumor production.

7. Avoid: Toxic water.

Why:Most water contains arsenic, fluoride, chlorine and other unhealthy toxins.

Choose: Filtered drinking water

8. Avoid: Toxic pesticides and weed killers:

Why:Commonly used lawn care products contain endocrine disruptors and carcinogens, which have been implicated in increased risk for breast cancer as well as other health problems.

Choose: Natural pesticidesthat contain no endocrine distruptors or carcinogens

9. Avoid: Toxic Food

Why: Food is over processed with additives, preservatives, poisonous pesticides and fungicides and heavy metals, resulting in very little nutritional value. People are eating products instead of whole food.

Choose: Organic whole food.

For more on breast cancer prevention, visit the Breast Cancer Fund