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Is Breast Cancer Linked to Environmental Chemicals?

October 13, 2010

A groundbreaking research study recently published by the American Cancer Society found that synthetic chemicals have likely played a large role in the rising breast cancer rates around the world over the last half-century.

The study identified 216 man-made chemicals, including those found in everyday products like pesticides, cosmetics, dyes, drugs and gasoline, which have been shown to cause breast cancer in animals.  These substances, many of which "mimic" naturally occurring hormones once inside the body, are also to blame for the increasing prevalence of breast cancer.

Devra Lee Davis, epidemiologist at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health, says, "the more hormones cycling through a women’s body during her lifetime, the more likely she is to develop breast cancer." 

Synthetic chemicals that mimic hormones increase that risk because the body doesn’t know the difference between its own real hormones and other introduced chemicals.

Only 1 in 10 women who develop breast cancer inherits a defective gene from their parents, which means that in 90 percent of breast cancer cases studied, external agents, like synthetic chemicals, contributed to the development of cancer.

The U.S. government has not instituted restrictions on the production of synthetic chemicals, but European regulators are taking the issue very seriously by making chemical manufacturers selling anywhere in Europe to re-register and re-evaluate the potential health hazards, including cancer risks, of their products.  I am hoping that American chemical companies will follow that lead with chemicals sold here.

To reduce your risk of chemical exposure:

Buy and eat organic foods.
Avoid using pesticides and other synthetic chemicals whenever possible.
Use non-plastic containers to reheat and store foods.
Support government regulation and more research on synthetic chemicals and their effects.

Maid Brigade House Cleaning Services supports Breast Cancer Awareness Month by educating and empowering you so that you can make the best lifestyle choices for you and your family.  For more information on healthy green living and green cleaning, please log on to or

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