Activists emphasize prevention, not just detection and treatment

WASHINGTON, Oct. 4 -- A nationwide network of women's 
health activists, scientific and medical experts, cancer 
survivors and environmentalists today announced they will 
join forces in a series of public hearings and conferences 
addressing the environmental links to breast cancer.

Co-sponsored nationally by Greenpeace and Women's Environment & Development 
Organization (WEDO), the hearings and workshops will be 
held in three cities throughout National Breast Cancer 
Awareness Month
-- Albuquerque, NM (Oct. 14 & 15.), Dayton, OH, (Oct. 22), 
and Boston (Oct. 28 & 29).

"Women will no longer suffer and die in silence while the 
environment goes ignored or just flat denied in the growing 
breast cancer epidemic," said Joan D'Argo of Greenpeace.  
"These events are designed to bring the environment to the 
forefront of breast cancer prevention, where it belongs." 

The conferences will explore in-depth the environmental 
factors in the breast cancer epidemic, including chlorine, 
pesticides and other toxins as recently reported by the 
EPA, radiation from military and industrial activities, and 
electromagnetic fields.  Special workshops will focus on 
issues such as environmental racism, grassroots organizing, 
and action women can take to protect themselves and future 

The events are the culmination of a year-long effort by Greenpeace and WEDO 
to mobilize women from all walks of life and all racial and 
ethnic backgrounds, in demanding more government funding 
and resources for studying and preventing environmental 
causes of breast cancer. 

"We need improvements in screening, testing and cures for 
breast cancer and other cancers that affect mostly women," 
said Bella Abzug, former New York congresswoman and founder 
of WEDO.  "Most of all, we need research, resources and 
action focused on prevention.  It is time for the research 
community, government, and the private sector to stop 
dragging their feet in examining environmental links to 
breast cancer."  Abzug is scheduled to moderate the Boston 

Last year, Greenpeace released "Chlorine, Human Health & 
the Environment: The Breast Cancer Warning," a 
groundbreaking report containing scientific studies from 
around the world linking chlorine- based pollutants, or 
organochlorines, in the environment to breast cancer.

Several noted scientific and medicals experts will 
participate in the conferences and hearings, along with 
breast cancer survivors, environmentalists and women's 
activists.  A partial list of speakers includes:

* Dr. Devra Lee Davis, Advisor, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human         
* Joan D'Argo, Joe Thornton, Greenpeace Chlorine-Free Campaign; 
* Geri Barish, breast cancer survivor and co-chair of 1-in-9: The Long 
  Island Breast Cancer Coalition;
* Ernest J. Sternglass, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Radiological      
  Physics  University of Pittsburgh;
* Calvin Mitchell, Citizens Clearinghouse for Hazardous Waste;
* Dr. Samuel Epstein, Professor of Occupational and Environmental
  Medicine, University of Illinois Medical Center and author of
  "The Politics of Cancer";
* Heather Cantino, Rural Action Committee for Pesticide Reform;
* Maria Romero, New Mexico Dept. of Health, Chronic Disease Prevention
  and Control Division;
* Maria Chavez, Director, Toxic Victims Association.