BCPP’s Top Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Breast Cancer

Two young women sitting on a couch and chatting happily

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Naturepedic is excited to share this blog post from our friends at Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (BCPP). We hope you find this post informative, and we encourage you to check out BCPP’s October Gift Guide to help find non-toxic products.

What can be done to reduce your risk of breast cancer? Awareness and adoption of our tips can help redefine your daily routine and help you reduce your risk for the disease. We’ll help you identify some known and suspected breast cancer risk factors, and give you tips on how you can make simple changes to protect your health.

Read Ingredient Labels 

It is perfectly legal for companies to use ingredients linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, and reproductive harm in personal care products, cosmetics, cleaning products and food packaging.

What You Can Do: 

Check out BCPP’s Glossary of Exposures and our Campaign for Safe Cosmetics’ Chemicals of Concern glossary for toxic ingredients to avoid. You can also use an app or web browser extension like Clearya, Think Dirty, or Skin Deep to help identify harmful ingredients in products as you shop.

Bottle of aerosal air freshener showing ingredients label Bottle of aerosal air freshener showing ingredients label

Avoid Products with the Words “Fragrance” or “Flavors” on the Ingredients Label 

Product labels that list “fragrance,” “parfum,” or “flavors” may contain a cocktail of dozens of potentially harmful chemicals.

What You Can Do: 

Choose personal care products, cleaning products, air fresheners, and candles that list all fragrance and flavor ingredients. Shop with companies that do list all fragrance and flavor ingredients – check the company website for their ingredient disclosure policy.

Wash your Hands 

Washing your hands kills germs and reduces exposures to unsafe chemicals. Many chemicals from everyday products end up in household and workplace dust. Hand washing reduces dust on the hands, and as a result reduces exposures to chemicals, like flame retardants.

What You Can Do:

Make sure to use hand soap free of harmful chemicals like  Triclosan is an antimicrobial agent which has been found to be a potential endocrine disruptor, and is harmful to the environment and Parabens chemicals that prevent the growth of mold and bacteria and are added to body wash to stabilize the product and extend its shelf life.

Go Fresh, Organic, and Hormone-free 

Woman picking out fresh, organic produce at the grocery storeWoman picking out fresh, organic produce at the grocery store

What You Can Do:

Choose fresh, organic and hormone-free foods in order to avoid exposure to pesticides, added hormones, and other possible toxic chemicals in packaged foods. Buying products grown organically reduces pesticide use, which is good for families, farm workers, and the environment. Plus, eating fresh (or frozen) foods helps you to avoid chemicals in food packaging like BPA, PFAS “forever chemicals,” and phthalates.

Light at Night 

What You Can Do:

  1. Turn off TVs and minimize blue electronic lights.
  2. Take advantage of the “red or night shift” function on your electronic devices if you are using them after dark.
  3. Wear a sleeping mask.
  4. Get light-blocking curtains.

Physical Activity 

Physical activity reduces risk of breast cancer, with vigorous physical activity being the most protective.

What You Can Do:

  1. Regularly get active. Adults: Sit less; a weekly minimum of 150–300 minutes moderate intensity OR 75-150 minutes vigorous OR a combination of both; strength training twice per week.
  2. Encourage the youth.
  3. Develop strong habits in children, adolescents to support a life-long practice of physical activity.
Woman practicing yoga at home in her living roomWoman practicing yoga at home in her living room

At the Doctor’s Office 

What You Can Do:

Ask about alternatives to CAT scans and X-rays. Discuss with your or your child’s medical care team whether or not X-rays or CT scans are necessary and whether there are radiation-free alternatives. If you decide to seek out a second opinion, request that the original screening information be shared, to minimize the need for a second set of exposures if they are not necessary.


What You Can Do:

  1. Drink less.
  2. Avoid binge drinking.
  3. Substitute one drink a day or one drink each week with another beverage or even a favorite food.

Don’t Be Brainwashed, Greenwashed or Pinkwashed

A "natural" candle that may display greenwashing claimsA "natural" candle that may display greenwashing claims

Companies use savvy marketing to sell products, so don’t let false claims trick you into buying products with harmful ingredients. Watch out for products designed to look like they are good for the environment or natural. This is called greenwashing — words like “natural” have little, if any, meaning without ingredient labels to back them up.

What You Can Do:

Be wary of products boasting a pink ribbon, too; many pinkwashed products contain chemicals linked to cancer, and often do little to prevent or reduce breast cancer.

Take Action to Protect Everyone 

Let’s change the system to make the healthy choice the easy choice for everyone. Together, we can change laws to remove toxic exposures linked to breast cancer from our environment and hold corporations responsible for the safety of the chemicals in their products.

What You Can Do:

Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (BCPP) logoBreast Cancer Prevention Partners (BCPP) logo

Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (BCPP) is a national organization working to eliminate toxic chemicals and other environmental exposures that lead to breast cancer. They work with communities impacted by environmental exposures linked to breast cancer, translate science into education and action, press businesses to make products safer, and help to pass health-protective laws.