Household Cleaning Products May Raise Breast Cancer Risk

Posted on Aug. 5, 2010, 6 a.m. in Cancer Environment Women's Health

In that it has been postulated that household cleaning and pesticide products may contribute to breast cancer because many contain endocrine disrupting chemicals or mammary gland carcinogens, Julia Brody, from the Silent Spring Institute (Massachusetts, USA), and colleagues investigated whether the use of household cleaners and pesticides increases breast cancer risk. The researchers assessed 787 women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer (and compared them to a group of 721 women without breast cancer, who served as controls), interviewing each about their frequency and intensity of usage of household cleaning and pesticide products in the past year.  The team found that  breast cancer risk increased two-fold in those using household cleaning products most heavily (as compared to those using the least), as well as cleaning products combined with air freshener use. Writing that: “Results of this study suggest that cleaning product use contributes to increased breast cancer risk,” the researchers urge that:  “Because exposure to chemicals from household cleaning products is a biologically plausible cause of breast cancer and avoidable, associations reported here should be further examined prospectively.”

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Zota AR., Aschengrau A, Rudel RA., Brody JG.  “Self-reported chemicals exposure, beliefs about disease causation, and risk of breast cancer in the Cape Cod Breast Cancer and Environment Study: a case-control study.”  Environmental Health 2010, 9:40, 20 July 2010.

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