Everyday chemicals could be linked to breast cancer
By Beth Hunt
A new study has identified more than a dozen chemicals that women should avoid, in order to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. An estimated 12.4 % of women born in the U.S. today will develop breast cancer at some point during their lives. Past research has indicated that exposure to some chemicals may increase the risk, and now a new study is shedding even more light on that. Dr. Tonya Martin-dunlap says, "Just some basic household substances have been found to increase breast cancer in rats, and so they want to see if that's the same correlation in women." Researchers looked at rats exposed to different environmental toxins and substances and saw that they developed breast cancer. They say the greatest sources of cancer carcinogens were found to be gasoline and chemicals created by combustion. Other sources included chemicals found in flame retardants, stain-resistant textiles, and drinking water disinfection by-products. Dr. Matin-DuMartinsays "gasoline exposure...any sort of combustibles... Gasoline, propane.. Grilling your food. We've all heard about increased risk of colon cancer when you grill your food... Dry cleaning agents... The stain repellant you would put on your carpets." Doctors are now looking at a way to translate this research to women. Until more studies can be done, they say there are some things you can do to reduce your risk. Limit exposure to fumes from gasoline and exhaust from diesel and other fuel combustion. Use electric, instead of gas-powered lawn mowers, use a ventilation fan when cooking, avoid stain-resistant rugs, fabrics and furniture... and use a solid carbon block drinking water filter. Dr. Martin-Dunlap adds, "The suggestion right now is to minimize your exposure to these as much as possible.. If you just pay attention to your environmental exposures."
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