Green Mep Highlights Link Between Women's Health & Environment
Women's health must be better protected from environmental factors such as chemicals and pesticides, Euro-MP and Green Party Leader Caroline Lucas will tell guests at an event at Ryde Castle this Sunday (March 8) organised by the Isle of Wight Soroptimists to celebrate International Women's Day.
Following her speech at 2pm, Caroline will take questions from the audience at the Ryde Castle Hotel on the Esplanade at Ryde, before being joined on the platform by Community Liaison Officer at Island Waste Services, Lynn Clarke, who will explore local issues affecting women and the environment. The Green MEP, who sits on the European Parliament's Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee, said:
"I am delighted to be joining the Isle of Wight Soroptimists for International Women's Day to talk about the crucial link between the potentially toxic elements in our environment and human health - and how we can better regulate the chemicals that we come into contact with all the time.
"According to a Greenpeace study, when you strip away factors like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, together with hereditary factors, the environment still appears to be the single biggest cause of the massive increase in virtually all cancers seen over the past few decades.
"On a daily basis, we are exposed to many hazardous chemicals without being fully aware of the potential dangers to our health. Even in our homes, these chemicals are all around us - in toys, food and drink containers, clothes, furniture, and cleaning agents. Our favourite cosmetics, like shampoos, soaps, moisturisers, and toothpaste often contain parabens, which are 'endocrine disrupters' - and can seriously disrupt hormones in humans and animals.
"We already know that more than 500 manufactured chemicals found in our environment mimic and disrupt hormones, thus having the potential to contribute to the onset and progression of hormone-dependent cancers like breast cancer, the UK's most common cancer which kills more than 1000 women every single month.
"Evidence has shown that pesticides can also have an adverse effect on our health, with many powerful chemicals from crop spraying leaking into soil and water supplies, and many food items containing pesticide residues even after they've reached the supermarket. Believe it or not, a Cox's apple can typically be sprayed 18 times with various different pesticides."
She concluded: "Some of the most important decisions on regulating our exposure to potentially dangerous substances are made at the European level - and that's where my work as an MEP can make a real difference. We urgently need to explore environmental risk factors at both national and European level, and prevent the powerful chemicals and pesticides lobby from weakening key EU laws designed to protect human health."
The Isle of Wight Soroptimists event will be supported by various groups with information stalls on issues particular to women and the environment. An optional light lunch costing £6 will be available, before Caroline Lucas speaks at 2 pm.
Dr Caroline Lucas has been the Green Party's MEP for the South East of England since 1999. Her work in the European Parliament encompasses peace and human rights, animal protection, trade, transport, health, social justice and the environment. In 2007, she was voted Ethical Politician of the Year in the Observer Ethical Awards and was named MEP of the Year 2008
in Parliament magazine for her work on trade.
Soroptimist International (S.I.) is a well established women's service organisation. Some of the objectives that S.I. strive for are; the advancement of the status of women, human rights for all, equality, development and peace through international goodwill, understanding and
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