Submitted by Rosanne on Thu, 12/20/2012 - 13:39
After the recent launch of Breast Caner Action Montreal's interactive Chemical Detective project, BCAM caught up with the two Public Health graduate students, Amy Elefson and Natalie Martin, who helped us make it happen. Chemical Detective provides a step-by-step guide to understanding the environmental toxicants that surround us. This presentation is essential for anyone who wants to know more about reducing toxic exposures in their household, but it's particularly useful for new parents, providing essential tips for recognizing toxic chemicals in our domestic environment: our household cleaners, personal care products, and other items that we use everyday.
Read below for board member Deborah Ostrovsky's conversation with Amy and Natalie as they share their musings on public health, activism and the state of science today.
BCAM: You're both pursuing Public Health. What inspired you to do internships with BCAM?
Submitted by Rosanne on Tue, 02/07/2012 - 17:20
Submitted by Rosanne on Wed, 05/08/2013 - 18:34
Mammography as a screening tool: The pros and cons and all the confusion
In the spring of 2002, the late Lanie Melamed, BCAM board member, wrote an article for the BCAM Bulletin about the confusion surrounding mammography. In her article titled "Mammography: Questions, Realities, Risks", Lanie wrote...
"The new evidence is unsettling and confusing. Some researchers believe that screening saves lives; for others the question is unresolved. Once again women are left with personal choices. After weighing the evidence each must decide what she wants, what risks she can live with, whom to believe, what and how much to read. Unhappily, there are no easy answers and no consensus about what or who is correct."
Eleven years later we are still asking the same questions. It was long believed that cancers caught "early" by mammography were less likely to be fatal. It is now known that some cancers are more aggressive than others, and that the time of diagnosis or the size of the tumour may have little to do with long-term prospects. Please join us on May 15 to discuss the pertinent issues that surround mammography and make sense of the confusing messages about this loaded subject.
Date: May 15
24 Mont-Royal West
Montreal, Quebec H2T 2S2
Submitted by viorica on Tue, 04/02/2013 - 03:28
A Toxic Lexicon
Do you know the difference between a toxin and a toxicant?
It turns out that many of us use these terms interchangeably. But there is a difference between a toxin and a toxicant—a big difference! Although popular usage may have us thinking that a toxin and a toxicant are the same, it’s essential for Femme Toxic readers know their meanings.
Why? In our work, we talk about the effects of toxic substances and how they affect your body and your health. We want you to be well-informed!
Who better to helps us explain this difference than two former BCAM and Femme Toxic public health interns, Amy Elefson and Natalie Martin.
Submitted by viorica on Fri, 03/15/2013 - 17:26
Kicking the Shampoo habit
Stop using harmful chemicals on your hair…but how?
“No Poo.” It’s a growing trend, and the name, well, says it all. However unappealing the moniker may be to some, it’s still a powerful reminder of the toxic junk that we use to make our hair shiny, full-bodied, and smooth. Can we shake the bad shampoo habit? Is it really possible to clean your hair naturally?
We asked Dipti Karmakar, a biomedical researcher, to share her scientific expertise on the potentially harmful chemicals in many store brand shampoos. Read below to learn how better living through chemistry can be simple and lead to healthier hair.
Submitted by Rosanne on Wed, 02/13/2013 - 14:53
Written by Adria Vasil
originally posted in Toronto NOW
Our only recourse in the face of the toxins assailing us in everyday life?
I mostly consider myself an optimist: the kind of girl that laughs a lot, even in the face of adversity. Then I spend some time digging though the toxic trail the chemical industry has hoisted upon the world and it makes me want to swathe all our women and children in nontoxic bubble wrap.
What's brought on my latest bubble-wrap urges? Well, just this week, a US congress-mandated committee on breast cancer and the environment issued a report
telling us we need to get our shit together on environmental pollutants and breast cancer. It noted only 7% of all 84,000 registered chemicals have had complete toxicological screenings. And of the very few that have been screened, 216, stuff like BPA and pesticides, are linked to breast cancer tumours but only a fraction of the billions spent on breast cancer research goes to environmental health links or prevention.
Many of those chems of concern are hormone disruptors – the topic of a conference I went to in Toronto last week put on by the National Network on Environments and Women's Health. I talked about it in my latest Ecoholic column
on this diverse family of chemicals and what the feds are (or aren't) doing about them. I heard from scientists like James Brophy and Margaret Keith, who spend their time testing workers in Southern Ontario for elevated rates of breast cancer and boy, have they found some.
Submitted by Nnedimma on Sun, 01/06/2013 - 20:41
Happy New Year!
Here's hoping that you all understood my Clue reference. (Best board game EVER!)
So last time, I was able to infuse some much needed pop culture references into the blog post thanks to Schmidt and New Girl.
However, coming up with something funny this week was a bit more challenging. How does one make jokes about the liver and enzymes??
I remember when I wrote my first post for this blog, I googled "funny chemistry jokes" and I was able to find some funny chemsitry cat jokes. But no luck this week, so hopefully this opening will prove somewhat amusing........
AAAAAAAAAND back to #Tungsten.
Submitted by Nnedimma on Wed, 12/26/2012 - 16:25
Hello again! The terrible beast called school and final period had me in its terrifying grip for the past 3 weeks. But fear not! I survived…(until I see my grades that is…)
Anyway, to more light hearted things! My group and I finished our #tungsten project!!!! ( yes I am hashtagging, quickest way to inject cool to any subject).
We had the oral presentation, which went really well and we handed in the final paper about 2 weeks ago. Somewhat of bitter sweet moment, because I am going to miss my #tungsten buddies very much and I will of course miss #tungsten…
Thankfully, I was watching New Girl last Friday, and witnessed Cece giving Schmidt a #tungsten carbide bracelet because, as my dear Schmidt put it, #tungsten is a “badass metal”. You can only imagine how excited I was; #tungsten in pop culture! It made me feel exceptionally relevant and hip.
Submitted by Nnedimma on Sun, 11/18/2012 - 20:49
In last week’s post I left you with a question…
What would you do if you were exposed to a potentially toxic environmental agent?
In this post I am going to elaborate a bit more on tungsten’s health impact in the mammalian organism, in rats specifically.
From these rat studies we will then try to draw some conclusions about tungsten's bio-reactivity in the human body.
Submitted by Nnedimma on Mon, 11/12/2012 - 00:14
this feels soooo awkward, its like talking to a long lost friend again. I have to apologize for my absence..
I remember when I came to Rosanne with the idea i had for this blog. I wanted to find a fun and user-friendly manner of vocalizing science in way that was accessible. This in my head was essential, because how are women expected to make informed decisions about the issues that concern them the most, if the literature isn't presented in a manner that is accessible to them?