Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

‘Pinkwashing’ is a form of social injustice asserts article in Environmental Justice

pink ribbon

Image via Wikipedia

From the 7 July 2011 Eureka news alert

New Rochelle, NY, July 7, 2011—Companies that try to increase sales of their products by adopting the color pink and pink ribbons to imply that they support breast cancer research—a practice called pinkwashing—but at the same time permit the use of chemicals shown to cause cancer are committing a form of social injustice against women, according to a thought-provoking article in Environmental Justice, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. (www.liebertpub.com) The entire issue is available online at www.liebertpub.com/env

Amy Lubitow, Portland State University (Oregon), and Mia Davis, Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (Boston, MA), contend that aligning oneself with a cause such as breast cancer, while carrying out research, manufacturing, or other types of policies or processes that involve the use of chemicals with a proven link to cancer crosses a critical line between just and unjust practices. The authors state that “pinkwashing simultaneously increases profits and potentially contributes to increasing cancer rates and obscures an environmental health discourse that recognizes the environmental causes of breast cancer…” They support and expand on this view in the article entitled, “Pastel Injustice: The Corporate Use of Pinkwashing for Profit.”

“The authors of this article draw needed attention to the dangerous use of consumers’ social and sometimes environmental consciousness by institutions who contribute to environmental health disparities. The blind financial support of these entities, by affected consumers, is a form of environmental injustice that is clearly elucidated by the authors,” said Sylvia Hood Washington, PhD, ND, MSE, MPH, Editor-in-Chief of Environmental Justice, and Research Associate Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health.

July 7, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Public Health | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Environmental Justice at the National Museum of Mexican Art

From the June 26 2011 blog item at Science is Everyone’s Story

…The National Museum of Mexican Art, which I visited in May, has some powerful pieces related to environmental justice.

The final room in the museum begins with an installation about César Chávez, who organized a boycott to oppose toxic pesticides on grapes in the 1980s.

In the gift shop, I saw a reproduction of “Sun Mad.” This controversial painting shows Ester Hernandez‘s anger about the chemicals workers face in the grape industry.

A painting showing a skeleton and pesticide warnings on a Sun Maid raisins boxSun Mad (photo from the Smithsonian American Art Museum)

 

In the painting “Blue Collar,” Oscar Moya depicts a worker in a safety mask and gloves surrounded by an ominous red glow. It isn’t clear that the piece is related to chemical safety, but the atmosphere suggests it.

Salvador Vega’s “Mother Earth” reminded me of Salvador Dali’s depiction of the Spanish civil war – but the subject is our planet.

A reviewer from The Onion describes this exhibit as depressing. It did not have that effect on me. When I see art like this, it motivates me to think about social change. People shouldn’t be afraid to go to work because of concerns about chemical safety.

July 5, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

   

%d bloggers like this: