- Study Suggests Link Between Exposure to Chemicals Early in Life and Breast Cancer Risk

October 25, 2017

Excerpt: "Depending on where you live and work, you’re likely to be exposed to a number of chemicals every day. Plastic food and beverage containers, personal care products, sunscreen, cleaning products, and lawn and garden products all contain chemicals. Chemical pesticides are used in many commercially grown fruit, vegetable, and grain crops to protect them from insects, weeds, diseases, and other pests.

A study suggests that exposure to certain chemicals in the environment, especially early in life, is linked to a higher risk of breast cancer. ...

Differences in people’s genetic make-up also can affect how they respond to certain chemicals. One study reviewed found that among women exposed to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), a chemical in vehicle exhaust, women with certain genetic variants had a higher risk of developing breast cancer.

"During these so-called windows of susceptibility, the body is changing, breast cells are dividing quickly, and the breast tissue becomes vulnerable to damage from chemicals," said lead author Kathryn Rodgers, a research scientist at the Silent Spring Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to studying links between environmental chemicals and women’s health, especially breast cancer. "Every day, we come into contact with many different chemicals, and new ones are constantly being introduced to the market," she added. "Unfortunately, it's hard to measure exposures to multiple chemicals at multiple times in a person's life."'

Epidemiology Reviews and Database