Trouble With a Capital B
Chemicals play a big role in breast-cancer cases, says report
You know how Tammy Wynette said sometimes it’s hard to be a woman? Well, it just got harder: a new report finds a potential link between breast cancer and 216 chemicals, including 35 common air pollutants and 73 food or consumer-product ingredients. Racking up evidence from hundreds of existing lab tests, researchers concluded that environmental factors play a much larger role in breast-cancer likelihood than family history and genes. “Overall, exposure to mammary gland carcinogens is widespread,” says the report, noting that 29 of the identified toxics are produced in volumes of more than 1 million pounds each year in the U.S. Here’s what’s scarier: only 1,000 of the 80,000 chemicals registered for use in the U.S. have been tested for carcinogenic properties. As breast cancer is the leading killer of middle-aged American women, we advise avoiding pesticides, dyes, cosmetics, diesel exhaust, pharmaceuticals, food flavorings, and chlorinated drinking water. Who wants to decorate the bunker?