Focusing on Women’s Health

The unique health needs of women and girls must be considered when setting policies that protect the public from hazardous exposures.

Until fairly recently, women were largely excluded from participating in medical research and clinical trials. Studies on exposures to hazardous chemicals in the workplace, for instance, have mostly been done in men. Yet, environmental exposures impact women in different ways from men, and those must be better understood and addressed. The widespread use in consumer products of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), which interfere with the body’s hormones, especially raises concern for women’s health because hormones have been shown to increase susceptibility to breast cancer and lead to other health problems. By prioritizing women’s health, we are not only filling a research gap, we are filling a health gap.

Related Projects

The ELLA study is investigating whether exposure to common environmental chemicals during puberty leads to changes in the breast that could increase a young girl’s chances of developing breast cancer later in life.

Our comprehensive reviews of human studies demonstrate that exposure to environmental chemicals, especially early in life, is an important contributing factor in the development of breast cancer.

We are investigating on-the-job exposures to chemicals linked with breast cancer in female firefighters.