Once disputed as a contributor to breast cancer, environmental pollutants are now known to play a significant role. According to the Environmental Working Group, “Chemicals in our food, water and homes can alter DNA and gene expression to change the way breast cells develop, making tissues susceptible to cancer. Experts believe that controlling environmental pollutants may help lower American women’s risk of breast cancer.”
In 2017, Silent Spring Institute published a review of 158 observational studies of pollutants conducted over the past decade. It identified 16 classes of environmental pollutants and additives in consumer products associated with breast cancer in human studies. Julia Brody, one of the review’s co-authors, concluded that chemical exposures are increasingly recognized as the most preventable risk factors for breast cancer.
Limiting chemical exposures can be a challenge – but you can start with a few quick steps at home.
- Take shoes off at the door so you don’t track pesticides, asphalt, brake dust, and other chemicals indoors.
- Skip cooking equipment with teflon and other non-stick coatings to minimize exposure to perfluorinated chemicals (PFC, PFOA, PTFE).
- Buy products without flame- and stain-retardants.
- Avoid phthalates which can be found in everything from cosmetics and personal care products to solvents, building materials, and vinyl flooring.
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ARE YOU CONCERNED YOUR HOME IS MAKING YOU SICK?
Our guide on indoor quality will help you diagnose possible issues and implement intelligent solutions to improve the quality of the air inside your home.