Study Chemical Exposures Triple Womans Risk Of Breast Cancer

04.01.10 | FL News Team

A woman's risk of developing breast cancer after menopause is tripled if she's exposed to certain chemicals before reaching her mid-30s. That's the claim of Canadian scientists who've found women exposed to synthetic fibers and petroleum related products appear to be at highest risk. While some experts caution the link might have simply been a chance occurrence, the Canadian scientists say their findings are consistent with the theory that breast tissue is more sensitive to harmful chemicals. That's especially true if the exposure occurs when breast cells are most active, before a woman reaches her 40s.

 The researchers based their findings on studies of more than eleven-hundred women, about half had been diagnosed with breast cancer when they were between 50 and 75 years old. The women's levels of exposure to about 300 different substances during their working years was studied. They concluded women exposed to acrylic fibers appear to run a seven-fold risk of developing cancer, those exposed to nylon fibers nearly doubled their risk. Study details are printed in a British medical journal "Occupational and Environmental Medicine."