Cleaning Products Risk For Breast Cancer
From ScienceDaily (7/10) Do Cleaning Products Cause Breast Cancer?
Women who report greater use of cleaning products may be at higher breast cancer
risk than those who say they use them sparingly. Researchers writing in BioMed
Central's open access journal Environmental Health asked more than 1500 women
about their cleaning product usage and found that women who reported using more
air fresheners and products for mold and mildew control had a higher incidence
of breast cancer.
Julia Brody, from the Silent Spring Institute, USA, worked with a team of
researchers to carry out telephone interviews with 787 women diagnosed with
breast cancer and 721 comparison women. She said, "Women who reported the
highest combined cleaning product use had a doubled risk of breast cancer
compared to those with the lowest reported use. Use of air fresheners and
products for mold and mildew control were associated with increased risk. To
our knowledge, this is the first published report on cleaning product use and
risk of breast cancer."
The researchers questioned women on product use, beliefs about breast cancer
causes, and established and suspected risk factors. They found that cleaning
products, air fresheners, and insect repellents were associated with breast
cancer, but little association was observed with overall pesticide use. Women
with breast cancer who believed that chemicals and pollutants contribute 'a
lot' to the risk of developing the condition were more likely to report high
Speaking about this potential bias to the study, Brody said, "When women are
diagnosed with breast cancer, they often think about what happened in the past
that might have contributed to the disease. As a result, it may be that women
with breast cancer more accurately recall their past product use or even
over-estimate it. Or, it could also be that experience with breast cancer
influences beliefs about its causes. For example, women diagnosed with breast
cancer are less likely to believe heredity contributes 'a lot', because most
are the first in their family to get the disease."
In order to avoid possible recall bias, the researchers recommend further study
of cleaning products and breast cancer using prospective self-reports and
measurements in environmental and biological media.