Study spotlights high breast cancer risk for plastics workers (Center for Public Integrity, 11/19/2012)

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Researchers have found a fivefold increase in breast cancer risk for pre-menopausal women who worked in factories that make food cans or plastic automotive parts, as compared to a control group from the same industrial community. In the course of their work, these women were likely exposed to carcinogens and hormone-disrupting chemicals like BPA, phthalates and flame retardants.

The study was published today in the journal Environmental Health; the Center for Public Integrity interviewed Breast Cancer Fund President and CEO Jeanne Rizzo for an in-depth story also out today: 

“These workplace chemicals are now present in our air, water, food and consumer products,” said one of the two principal investigators, James Brophy, an adjunct faculty member at the University of Windsor and a former occupational health clinic director. “If we fail to take heed then we are doing so at our own peril.”

Jeanne Rizzo, president of the Breast Cancer Fund, a San Francisco-based group that has pressed for more research into environmental causes of a disease that claimed nearly 40,000 lives in the United States last year, called the Windsor study “a very powerful piece of work. The piece that’s really been missing for female breast cancer is occupation.” (Read complete article.)

This is big news—and a call to action for industries and governments to do more to protect workers from toxic chemicals.

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