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Why Do Companies That "Fight" Breast Cancer with Pink Ribbons Use Known Carcinogens?

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This October marks the 28th year of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a public awareness campaign that has drawn increasing criticism from consumers, breast cancer survivors, and advocacy groups for relying on pink ribbons and awareness instead of discussing the causes and prevention of breast cancer.

First introduced in 1985 to draw greater attention to a disease diagnosed in nearly 300,000 US women a year, Breast Cancer Awareness Month has since taken on a life of its own. NFL games feature pink-clad players and coaches, pink lights illuminate landmark buildings across the world, and cosmetic companies sell pink-branded products, generating feel good PR as well as funneling millions to breast cancer research. But a growing body of evidence has begun to raise the question of whether the companies behind some of these campaigns may, in fact, be contributing to the epidemic.

Take Estee Lauder. Now in its twelfth year, The Estee Lauder Companies' widely known Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign has raised more than $48 million to help fund breast cancer research and education, with a significant amount of money going to risk assessment, survivor support, and weight loss programs to prevent metastasis. Despite these seemingly positive steps, Estée Lauder is among several beauty brands who use toxic ingredients known to cause cancer or a host of other reproductive, endocrine, and neurological problems - even in their famous Breast Cancer Awareness fundraising products.    
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