Daily News Archive

California to Research Reasons for Alarming Breast Cancer Increase
(from October 24, 2002)

California officials are responding to the rise of breast cancer incidence among women by researching what the sources may be, according to Environmental News Service. They hope to find out why this unexplained trend is occurring with a program that will monitor breast milk for environmental contamination. Breast cancer rates have increased three fold from 50 years ago, stated CA Assemblyman Dario Frommer. He and Senator Deborah Ortiz plan to introduce legislation that will put in place the program to monitor breast milk. Chemical products such as pesticides, detergents, fuels and plastics are among the suspected contaminants.

At a legislative hearing in San Francisco on Wednesday, some expressed concerns that environmental factors related to breast cancer have not been adequately tested and are therefore not clearly understood. Dr. Ana Soto, a breast cancer specialist at Tufts Medical School, spoke of the need to consider environmental contaminants as a major cause of the breast cancer increase. She stated, "The increasing risk of breast cancer and other cancers has paralleled the proliferation of synthetic chemicals since World War Two," and that only 7 of the 85,000 registered chemicals in the United States have been through toxicological screening.

Studying breast milk is an excellent tracking device for environmental contaminants since chemicals accumulate in the fatty tissue of the breast for a number of years.

For more information concerning pesticides and breast cancer, please contact Beyond Pesticides.