EPA’s plan to evaluate pesticides for safety does not protect women’s health

February 21, 2024

In a comment submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), scientists at Silent Spring Institute say the agency’s pesticide safety reviews overlook pesticides that could increase breast cancer risk and do not protect workers and the general population from harmful exposures. 

This fall, EPA proposed a new strategic plan to strengthen its Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP) with the goal of identifying pesticides that are endocrine disruptors—chemicals that interfere with the body's hormones and lead to a variety of health problems including breast cancer. Silent Spring recently published a study that identified hundreds of chemicals, including dozens of pesticides, that increase estrogen and progesterone—a known risk factor for breast cancer.

Citing numerous studies, the authors write: “We have shown that EPA’s current endocrine screening and testing is incomplete and misses important breast cancer pathways… EPA’s past and proposed actions to address endocrine effects of pesticides, including under the EDSP, are insufficient to protect women’s health.”

Read the full comment.