A new study released by U.S. researchers details 17 chemicals that have been shown to cause breast cancer in lab rats and are likely to do the same in women.
Included in the list of chemicals to avoid are chemicals found in vehicle exhaust, flame retardants and stain-resistant textiles.
Also on the list of substances to avoid were chemicals found in paint removers and disinfection byproducts in drinking water.
The information was published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives. As Ruthann Rudel, study author and research director of the Silent Spring Institute, said, the study “will guide efforts to reduce exposure to chemicals linked to breast cancer, and help researchers study how women are being affected.”
Alarmingly, some of the most potent sources of carcinogens came from commonly-encountered sources like tobacco smoke, charred food and vehicle exhaust, which contain benzene and butadiene.
“Every woman in America has been exposed to chemicals that may increase her risk of getting breast cancer,” stated study co-author Julia Brody.
“Unfortunately,” Brody continued, “the link between toxic chemicals and breast cancer has largely been ignored. Reducing chemical exposures could save many, many women’s lives.”
The study not only details chemicals that are potential sources of mammary carcinogens, it also provides suggestions for how to avoid these chemicals.
The study suggests that refraining from idling your car and using electric lawn mowers and leaf blowers, rather than gas-powered ones, is an effective way to avoid chemicals from vehicle exhaust.
Further recommendations include using a ventilation fan while cooking and limiting intake of burned or charred food, asking for “wet cleaning” at the dry-cleaner’s and buying furniture that has not been treated with flame retardants and stain-resistant chemicals.
Furthermore, because carcinogens can be found in drinking water, researchers recommend using a solid carbon block drinking-water filter.
The research was funded by the Avon Foundation.