Our impact

Our progress in bringing prevention to the attention of decision makers

We continue to work in collaboration with our UK and EU partners, meeting with and writing to Ministers, MPs, EU Commissioners and Public Health officials. We’re making a positive difference by outlining our concerns and recommending actionable policy proposals to address them.

Here are some of the recent examples of our work and its impact:

Commons Committee calls on Government to reduce public exposure to toxic chemicals

In July 2019, The Environmental Audit Committee published its report on Toxic Chemicals in Everyday Life, to which Breast Cancer UK contributed a written submission. In this we called for enhanced regulation of harmful chemicals which disrupt our hormones and for the UK to remain a member of the EU REACH system in order to maintain existing public health and environmental protections. The Committee’s resulting report acknowledged the growing problem of chemicals pollution that may be linked to increased breast cancer risk and backed many of Breast Cancer UK’s recommendations.

A core problem has been inadequate UK chemicals regulation, and the Committee urged Government action to address this and the issue of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs), which can be linked to breast cancer. The report also noted how UK fire safety regulations result in the widespread use of flame retardants in furniture and furnishings. We supported the committee’s recommendations and believe they should be implemented without delay.

EU Environment ministers demand concerted EU action on chemicals 

In June 2019, The EU Environment Council adopted council conclusions on chemicals. These conclusions called on the next European Commission to deliver a new strategy to tackle the problem of EDCs and the wider issue of environmental toxicity, including how it can be managed through the adoption of safer alternatives to protect vulnerable groups such as children, pregnant and breastfeeding women.

We have been working with our EDC-Free partners to ensure that the next Commission takes all necessary action to keep hazardous chemicals that contribute to breast cancer risk out of our daily lives, workplaces and consumer products.

European Parliament’s resolution to address Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals 

In April 2019, the European Parliament passed a landmark resolution, calling on the European Commission to “swiftly take all necessary action to ensure a high level of protection of human health and the environment against EDCs”. As a member of the EDC-Free Europe coalition we have added our voice to the demand for EU institutions and the UK Government to develop a robust action plan to measure, minimise and eventually eliminate public exposure to these hormone disrupting chemicals, given their links to increased breast cancer risk.

NHS Long-Term Plan: Prevention brought into the mainstream policy agenda of the NHS

In January 2019, after many years of campaigning, NHS England committed to put prevention at the heart of the NHS Long-Term Plan. This change of emphasis was essential given that 1 in 4 breast cancers could be prevented and that 60% of healthcare funding is currently spent on cure and rehabilitation, whilst only 5% is spent on prevention. We are now engaging with NHS and government officials calling for the delivery of a long-term action plan which sets out ambitious goals for education, research funding and policy intervention to support breast cancer prevention.

No More Bisphenol A (BPA) 

For many years Breast Cancer UK has campaigned for a ban on BPA and its replacement with safer alternatives because of its links to increased breast cancer risk. In recent years, welcome steps have been taken by the European Commission to support the phasing out of BPA. In 2011, the Commission banned the use of BPA in baby bottles. In 2017, BPA was formally identified as a substance of very high concern and restrictions have been put in place to ban BPA in thermal paper by 2020. We are now calling on the Commission to go further and ban the use of BPA across all food and drinks packaging.

A donation of just £5 can help us reach out to new mums with educational information and guidance on how they can protect the future health of their children.

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Your donation of £100 can help train one of our PhD students, who work on vital research which aims to understand the causes of breast cancer and identify risk factors.

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