Friday, April 20, 2012

Spring = lawn flags and chemicals

It's only April 20th but it's a beautiful spring day, and I just took a fast-ish walk around my neighborhood to get some sun and exercise. Unfortunately, the little yellow lawn flags are back along with the sun, as well as the caustic scent of herbicide. This made me think of Sandra Steingraber's wonderful article Canadian Bylaws; American Lawn Flags which is already 2 years old, but still applies. She writes:
The smell of lawn chemicals is as dependable a harbinger of spring as robins and lilacs. Not in big parts of Canada, where many municipalities and provinces have opted to abolish the cosmetic use of pesticides on the grounds that the links between pesticide exposure and childhood cancer are too troubling to ignore. So, how come we're still using them?
Ironically, one lawn I saw today that had lawn flags also had a poster advertising a childhood brain cancer fundraiser. Um....

In any event, I'm happy to report that some folks in my town are bringing the film A Chemical Reaction to town next week.
A Chemical Reaction, is a 70 minute feature documentary movie that tells the story of one of the most powerful and effective community initiatives in the history of North America.  It started with one lone voice in 1984.  Dr. June Irwin, a dermatologist, noticed a connection between her patients’ health conditions and their exposure to chemical pesticides and herbicides.  With relentless persistence she brought her concerns to town meetings to warn her fellow citizens that the chemicals they were putting on their lawns posed severe health risks and had unknown side effects on the environment.
Maybe it will help.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Why walk with us?

There are many worthwhile charities vying for your attention this time of year. Charities big and small, local, national, and even international, all want your support and money. In Boston alone there are several charity walks each weekend in the spring, summer and fall. There are several breast cancer walks that want your participation as well. How do you decide which one to support?

Some other breast cancer organizations focus on providing mammograms for women who cannot afford them. Many groups provide money for research, often on new treatments for women who already have breast cancer. MBCC is different. We think that the way to stop breast cancer is to prevent it in the first place. We ask you to join us in this important work by planning to take part in Against the Tide, our annual breast cancer swim/kayak/walk/run event.

Against the Tide has been taking place for 20 years. It has many loyal, concerned supporters. But we need more. We need you.

You have two opportunities to take part in Against the Tide. One event takes place on Sat. June 24th in Hopkinton, MA (near Framingham). The second takes place on Sat. August 18 in Brewster, MA (on Cape Cod). There are many options for participation. You can take part in a 3 mile walk, a 2 mile kayak, a 1 mile swim (competitive or recreational) or a 5K or 10K run (competitive or recreational). This year, we have a new event called an Aquathon: a 1 mile swim followed by a 5K or 10K run. Challenge yourself!

Click here for all the information you need about Against the Tide. We’d love to have you join us for this exciting, empowering day. If you can’t join us, click here and support one of the many individuals or teams who are planning to participate on June 24 or August 18.

Here are the facts: there is strong, growing scientific evidence that many diseases, including breast cancer, are caused at least in part by unregulated, untested chemicals in our environment. MBCC works to educate, to advocate, to make change around environmental causes of breast cancer. We want to see a world free of breast cancer by stopping breast cancer before it starts.

Join us! Swim, kayak, walk or run Against the Tide with MBCC!

Cross-posted at