Update: The American Chemistry Council disputes the study. Here is a statement: “It is concerning that the authors could be over-interpreting their results and unnecessarily alarm workers. This study included no data showing if there was actual chemical exposure, from what chemicals, at what levels, and over what period of time in any particular workplace. Although this is an important area of research, these findings are inconsistent with other research. This study should not be used to draw any conclusions about the cause of cancer patterns in workers.”
The original blog post is below:
Women who worked ten years or more in jobs that exosed them to cancer-causing substances and endocrine chemicals increased their odds of getting breast cancer, a new study has found.
The study by the National Network on Environments and Women's Health found that women who worked in farming, plastics, food canning, metalworking and at bars, casinos or racetracks increaesd their breast cancer risk by 42 percent.
The study looked at 1006 Canadian women with breast cancer and 1,147 without the disease. The participants provided detailed work histories that the researchers analyzed.
The researchers said that chemical exposure can advance the different stages of cancer. Syntheric chemicals can can disrupt endocrine function in the body leading to cancer. Endocrine disrupting chemicals are most likely to affect women before breast tissue is fully matured, the study said.
While the researchers said breast cancer is likely to be caused by many factors - environmental, genetic, hormonal and lifestyle - they argue for more research on the occupational link.