Accomplishments

2021- Today

  • Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition marks its 30th Anniversary of advocating for policy change, partnering with national health research projects, and education for cancer prevention. 2021
  • MBCC successfully advocates within a larger campaign for the Children and Firefighters Protection Act, banning highly toxic flame retardants in Massachusetts. 2021
  • MBCC launches its first annual Bike for Prevention Bike-A-Thon, directing funds towards community education and outreach for breast cancer prevention. 2021

MBCC continues to advocate and invites all to voice their support for the passage of the two bills, S.1315 & H.3839, to eradicate health repercussions linked to the exposure of PFAS. 2021

2011-2020

  • Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition marks its 20th Anniversary of research advocacy work, community education, and focus on the environmental links to breast cancer that will lead to primary prevention. 2011
  • MBCC challenges the concept of “pinkwashing”– the overflow marketing of the pink ribbon symbolizes corporate eagerness to jump on cause-related advertising, promoting their own products with ingredients that contribute to rising breast cancer rates, with little intention of actually ending the breast cancer epidemic. 2012
  • Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition partners with Women 4 Women and Students for Environmental Action through a sponsorship of the Pink Ribbons Inc. Screening. This documentary discusses the contradictory harmful overflow of pink ribbons from National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 2013
  • MBCC launches the MBCC Research Updates video series to translate environmental health research into actionable items for the outcome of reducing toxic exposures. 2013
  • The National Campaign for Consumer Safety is set in motion by environmental and health groups across the country, including Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition, urging companies to stop their usage of toxic ingredients and permanently switch to safer alternatives. 2013
  • MBCC begins its water quality campaign for state funding into Silent Spring Institute, to expand research on water quality in Cape Cod and Southeastern Massachusetts. 2013
  • Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition joins the larger campaign against NSTAR (now Eversource), which proposed a harmful vegetation management plan involving potentially harmful chemical herbicides in Cape Cod communities. 2013
  • MBCC successfully advocates with the Safe Cosmetics Act in the campaign for Proctor & Gamble (brands such as Crest, Heath & Shoulders, Covergirl, Pantene, Olay, and more) to terminate usage of two toxic chemicals, diethyl phthalate (DEP) and triclosan, in their personal care products. 2013
  • MBCC’s late Board President Margo Simon Golden represented MBCC with Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, and Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow for their national “Mind the Store” day of action, raising awareness of toxic chemicals in consumer products found at pharmacies and department stores. 2013-2015
  • MBCC’s Let’s Talk Prevention: Reducing Toxic Exposures educational program is launched, encouraging dialogue between health professionals and patients on the health risks that arise from toxic environmental exposures. 2014
  • Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition is honored as one of “the one hundred” by the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, as an organization making a difference in the fight against cancer. 2014
  • MBCC leads the “Towards a Cancer Free Economy” forum, leading environmental, social, and community groups to discuss the economy’s harmful dependency on carcinogenic chemicals and strategies for building a cancer-causing-toxins-free environment. 2014
  • Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition hosts an educational forum at the Massachusetts State House on the need to expand water quality research in the Commonwealth with Representative- Paul K Frost and co-hosted by 24 state legislators. 2015
  • As a board member of Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow with Mind the Store, successfully convinced national retailers, including Home Depot, Walgreens, and Target, across the nation to publicly commit to eliminate toxic chemicals from their products. 2015
  • MBCC leads a forum on education and encourages the discussion of water quality and the containment of possible toxins in Massachusetts, continuing the state-wide campaign for more water research. 2015
  • Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition campaigns for a much-needed overhaul to the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA), to move forward with safer manufacturing and adequately tested chemicals. 2015
  • MBCC continues to challenge Breast Cancer Awareness Month’s reduction of breast cancer awareness to the simple phrase: “For a Cure”. Instead of catchy phrases and pinkwashing, MBCC encourages supporters to “go green” this month and encompass prevention and chemical concerns to truly expand breast cancer awareness. 2015
  • Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition Executive Director, Cheryl Osimo, represents the organization on WBZ News Radio, discussing the importance of all women having access to breast cancer screening as a right, regardless of their socioeconomic status and health insurance. 2015
  • Beginning in 2015, MBCC campaigned to urge Cigna Insurance to retract their decision of no longer providing coverage for 3-D mammography, which provides far greater resolution than conventional 2-D mammography. In September of 2016, Cigna announced a new revised policy, covering 3-D mammograms. 2015-2016
  • MBCC is honored for the second time as one of the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center “the one hundred”, as an organization making a difference in the fight against cancer. 2016
  • Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition presents data at the 10th European Breast Cancer Conference on 3-D mammography (tomosynthesis), which has been proven more accurate in discovering cancers in women as opposed to the conventional mammogram. 2016
  • The MBCC Webinar Series is launched, featuring many renowned educators, scientists, and community leaders addressing a range of public health topics. 2016
  • Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition successfully advocates with other organizations for the Boston City Council to change the City Fire Code, allowing flame-retardant free furniture in institutional and public buildings with sprinkler systems. 2016
  • MBCC begins to advocate for the passage of the Bill H.4166, an act relative to drinking and ground water research. This legislation would support research of unregulated chemicals of concern in public and private drinking water wells and groundwater in Massachusetts. 2016
  • As part of a dynamic coalition, MBCC campaigns for the passage of the Bill H.2919, an act to establish a specific research trust fund for Silent Spring Institute’s research on drinking water and groundwater in Massachusetts. Advocates from MBCC met with state legislators and their staff to discuss Clean Water Research at the State House. 2017
  • The Let’s Talk Prevention: Reducing Toxic Exposures community education program tour reaches over 150 locations across the state, reaching a wider audience with translated materials in Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, Japanese, Mandarin, and English. 2017
  • An extension of MBCC’s award-winning Let’s Talk Prevention: Reducing Toxic Exposures program, Let’s Talk Prevention: Actions You Can Take, is launched with a pilot program in 6 Massachusetts high schools across the state. This environmental health educational program for high school classrooms addresses drinking water sources, radiofrequency exposure from devices, and carcinogenic and endocrine-disrupting chemicals. 2017
  • MBCC is recognized as a “Champion of Toxic Use Reduction” by the Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) at a ceremony at the Massachusetts State House for our Let’s Talk Prevention: Actions You Can Take educational program. 2018
  • MBCC becomes a community partner in the STEEP (Sources, Transport, Exposure and Effects of PFASs) Superfund Research Center 5-year project on private well water testing on Cape Cod for PFAS, led by the University of Rhode Island and includes researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Silent Spring Institute, funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). 2018
  • MBCC becomes a community partner on a 5-year project, PFAS-REACH (PFAS Research, Education, and Action for Community Health), studying the effects of PFAS on children’s health, led by the Silent Spring Institute along with researchers from Northeastern University, Michigan State University, and community partners Testing for Pease and Toxics Action Center, funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). 2018
  • MBCC becomes a community partner for the Silent Spring Institute-led investigation of the health effects of PFAS exposure from drinking water, including researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Eastern Research Group, along with the People of Ayer Concerned about the Environment, supported by the Centers for Disease Control and 

Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 2019

  • Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition testifies on the critical health issue of PFAS during the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s Water Stakeholder hearing. 2019
  • Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition Board Secretary, Estelle Disch, speaks with Roxanne Morse of Stoughton Media Access about the importance of breast cancer prevention as well as MBCC’s community and educational programs. 2019
  • The Let’s Talk Prevention: Actions You Can Take high school program expands to include age-appropriate materials for both middle and elementary school students in Massachusetts. All program materials are adapted to accommodate both in-person and remote learning. 2020
  • MBCC continues its ongoing water quality campaign, urging legislators to set an enforceable standard for PFAS in order to protect drinking water quality. 2020
  • Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition honors the 5th Year of the MBCC Webinar Series, bringing the work of renowned scientists, doctors, and educators directly to the community in order to make more informed decisions on their own health. 2020

MBCC launches a campaign advocating for the passage of the bills S.1315 & H.3839, geared towards the removal of harmful PFAS from food packaging. 2020

2001-2010

  • Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition marks its 10th Anniversary of preventing environmental causes of breast cancer through community education, research advocacy, and changes to public policy. 2001
  • MBCC partners with other organizations to successfully advocate the passing of legislation on increased state funding for research into environmental links to breast and cervical cancer treatment for Massachusetts residents. 2001 
  • MBCC successfully advocates as part of a larger campaign for the passing of legislation on complete access to screening and funding towards treatment among low income and uninsured women in Massachusetts. 2002
  • Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition becomes a founding partner of the nationwide Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, with a mission of urging companies to modify their personal care products to only include safer ingredients. 2004
  • MBCC becomes a founding partner of the state-based coalition, Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow, lobbying for education and awareness of the risks of toxic chemicals in consumer products. 2005
  • Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition assists REACH Coalition and other community partners, in launching the first Black Women and Breast Cancer Conference. This award-winning conference was held for three consecutive years, addressing race-based inequalities in community toxic burdens and medical research. 2007-2010
  • MBCC partners with researchers from our sister organization, Silent Spring Institute, on the study of toxic flame retardants in Cape Cod homes, kickstarting the campaign for legislation on the ban of these harmful chemicals in furniture products and public facilities such as hospitals, schools, and libraries. 2006
  • In promotion of the Precautionary Principle, MBCC becomes a coalition partner with Prevention First to support disease prevention and avoid harm to public health and the environment.
  • MBCC joins in the coalition of the Follow the Money Campaign. This national campaign included groups and organizations to represent thousands of women and families concerned about the cause-marketing of breast cancer, especially during “National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.”
  • MBCC is honored with an award from the Boston Public Health Commission’s Center for Health Equity and Social Justice’s REACH (Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health) Coalition for work on breast cancer disparities among various communities. 2010

MBCC successfully advocates in the larger campaign for the passage of the Mercury Products Phase-Out Bill and regulation banning Bisphenol A (BPA) from baby bottles and children’s sippy cups. 2010

1991-2000

  • Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition is founded by women concerned with the lack of attention to breast cancer, with a goal to bring awareness to the prevention of the environmental causes of breast cancer. 1991
  • MBCC steers Massachusetts to be the first state across the country to officially recognize breast cancer as an epidemic. 1991
  • The MBCC “Face to Face” photo exhibit makes a statewide tour to raise public awareness of the magnitude of the breast cancer epidemic. 1993
  • Alarmed by elevated breast cancer rates, Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition lobbies the Massachusetts legislature for funding to start a research institute on Cape Cod to study and analyze environmental links to breast cancer. 1993
  • MBCC addresses the environmental links to breast cancer at the 2-day World Conference on Breast Cancer. 1994
  • MBCC launches “a laboratory of their own” called Silent Spring Institute, in tribute to Rachel Carson and dedicated to conducting environmental studies and examining the links between the environment and women’s health on Cape Cod. 1994
  • Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition becomes a coalition partner with the “Putting People First” Campaign, bringing awareness to the dangers implicit in the direct to consumer advertising of drugs by pharmaceutical companies.
  • Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition publishes a full-page newspaper article challenging the corporate sponsorship of “National Breast Cancer Awareness Month”, which annually reap enormous profits from breast cancer as opposed to bringing awareness towards prevention and treatment. 1995 
  • MBCC collaborates with Clean Water Action and the UMass Lowell Center for Sustainable Production on the Precautionary Principle Project, educating and raising awareness to the value of the Precautionary Principle in Massachusetts.
  • MBCC hosts its first annual Lesbians & Friends LGBTQ+ Dance. 1997
  • MBCC begins to challenge National Cancer Institute’s release of initial Tamoxifen clinical trial results as to its efficacy for healthy women. 1998 
  • MBCC hosts the conference Breast Cancer and the Precautionary Principle, launching the first statewide initiative to incorporate the principle into policy. 1999
  • The first annual Against the Tide swim event, which has now transformed into a multi-sport event, is launched as a fundraiser to support MBCC’s community education programs. 1999
  • MBCC successfully advocates as part of the larger campaign for the passing of a new genetic privacy law in the state of Massachusetts, addressing protection of individual genetic information as well as discrimination in employment, disability, and health insurance. 2000