WellesleyWeston Magazine

WINTER 2012/2013

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/92498

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Page 137 of 203

fitness & health "a town that's very receptive to learning more about staying healthy" get a wallet-sized card that will tell you what chemicals to avoid); staying away from products containing Bisphenol A (BPA), a plastic frequently found in the linings of canned food, water bottles, and baby bottles; and using alternative methods of dry cleaning to avoid the chemical perchloroethylene, or "perc," as it is more commonly known. Both Griffith and Azzam say that the United States has been slow to get on the bandwagon against chemicals: In the European Union there are 1,100 chemicals that have been banned from personal care products, as opposed to just 12 in the United States. They note, how- ever, that it is changing. A 2010 study com- missioned by the Obama administration voiced concern about exposure to chemicals, and more recently Johnson & Johnson, maker of Aveeno and Neutrogena, agreed to phase out chemicals that can cause cancer and harm our health. Azzam, who was named by the MGH Cancer Institute as one of the 100 most influ- ential people working in cancer prevention in 2010, says, "After reading the president's can- cer study, we at the WCPP had to pat our- selves on the back a bit. That's what we'd been saying for 13 years." One way the WCPP educates our commu- nities is through town-wide forums, which it started holding in 2000. Since then the WCPP has sponsored forums three times a year, which are free and open to the general public, to help increase our communities' awareness of potential environmental health risks. This upcoming school year, the WCPP will hold three forums at the Wellesley Free Library under the theme "The Year of the Woman." Griffith hopes to increase alliances with other local nonprofit organizations to get the word out about what the WCPP does and to co-sponsor more forums. It's a great way for the organization — which is 100 percent vol- unteer and counts on donations to survive — to "increase our reach without increasing our costs and resources," she says. 136 WellesleyWeston Magazine | winter 2012/2013

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