How do we identify chemicals that cause breast cancer?

Through Silent Spring's Safer Chemicals Program, we are developing and applying new fast, cost-effective chemical screening tools and other methods to help zero in on those chemicals likely to increase breast cancer risk.

With thousands of chemicals on the market, the vast majority of which have never been tested for safety, protecting consumers from chemicals linked with breast cancer presents a challenge. Although, studies in humans can yield meaningful results in the long-term, they are unable to serve populations at risk in the short term. We cannot wait for a whole community to be exposed to a chemical for decades to see if it causes breast cancer. Instead, we need new strategies today for identifying risky chemicals. The goal of the Safer Chemicals Program is to shift the burden so that it’s no longer on consumers to reduce their exposures to toxics, but on companies and regulators to ensure the chemicals that make their way into consumers products are safe.

Related Projects


By mapping the molecular mechanisms that lead to breast cancer, we can identify new opportunities for prevention.

Our innovative screening methods can help researchers predict which chemicals are most likely to cause breast cancer.

Our mammary carcinogens list is laying the groundwork for research on the environmental causes of breast cancer.


The first study on the links between the environment and breast cancer--a national model for future environmental health studies.