Patients will receive information on ways to reduce exposure to toxic chemicals
Missoula, MT, May 9, 2016 — In recognition of Women’s Health Week, national women’s health non-profits, Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE) and Planned Parenthood of Montana have partnered together to launch a patient education campaign on the impact of toxic chemicals on women’s health. The campaign will take place at Planned Parenthood health centers across Montana.
“Certain toxic chemicals found in everyday products — from cleaning products and pesticides to cosmetics and feminine care products — can have significant lifelong effects on women’s reproductive health,” said Jill Baker, Director of Education at PPMT. “We’re excited to partner with Women’s Voices on this campaign to help raise awareness, and provide women with easy tools to help reduce their exposure.”
The educational campaign includes a number of patient resources including handouts on toxic chemicals to avoid in feminine care products, common household chemicals to avoid, chemicals and products to avoid while pregnant, and educational resources for clinicians. In addition, this month all pill packs distributed at Planned Parenthood of Montana’s health centers will include a reference card that lists ten simple tips women can take to help reduce daily exposure to chemicals of concern.
The campaign comes at a time when national and international organizations on reproductive health, including The American Congress of Obstetrician and Gynecologists and The Royal College of Obstetrician and Gynecologists (RCOG), are recommending increased patient education about the impacts of toxic chemicals on reproductive health.  As recently as 2015, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) released a groundbreaking policy statement that included the recommendation that environmental health needs to be an integral part of healthcare.
“While exposure to toxic chemicals is universal, women are disproportionately and uniquely affected,” said Jamie McConnell, Director of Programs and Policy at WVE. “We’re seeing rising rates of infertility, breast cancer and certain types of birth defects linked to chemical exposure,” said McConnell. “It’s critical women have access to resources on ways they can reduce exposure to toxic chemicals that may adversely impact reproductive health. A trusted health resource for countless women, Planned Parenthood is an ideal place to reach women with this information.”
Each year, Planned Parenthood serves over 13,000 women, men and teens in Montana. Over the next year it’s estimated the education campaign will reach thousands of women.
Founded in 1995, Women’s Voices for the Earth amplifies women’s voices to eliminate the toxic chemicals that harm our health and communities. With thousands of members across the United States, WVE changes corporate practices, holds government accountable, and works to ensure a toxic-free future for all. www.womensvoices.org.
Planned Parenthood of Montana is Montana’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for over 13,000 women, men, and young people, as well as one of the largest providers of medically accurate sex education. With 5 health centers across the state, PPMT serves all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
More than ninety percent of PPMT services are preventive, including lifesaving cancer screenings, birth control, testing and treatment for STDs, breast health services, Pap tests, sexual health education and information. For decades, PPMT has protected and promoted sexual and reproductive health and rights through medical services, education and advocacy. For more information, visit www.plannedparenthood.org/montana
Jamie McConnell, Women’s Voices for the Earth, 406-543-3747
Jill Baker, Planned Parenthood of Montana, 406-770-3263