Environmental Contaminants Linked to Cancer

Study Links Environmental Contaminants With Breast Cancer

Researchers from Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York, have found an association between exposure to common environmental contaminants and breast cancer. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), produced by gasoline and oil combustion and also found in cigarette smoke and broiled meat, have been shown in experimental studies to cause cancer by damaging DNA.

The researchers, led by Frederica P. Perera, professor at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health's Division of Environmental Health Sciences, have found that PAH-DNA damage in breast tissue was significantly associated with breast cancer and that women with breast cancer were 4 times more likely to have high levels of PAH-DNA damage in their tissue. The study is published in the July issue of Carcinogenesis.

"Environmental exposures such as PAH are by their nature preventable," notes Dr. Perera. "These results need to be confirmed, but they suggest that reducing exposure to PAH can help prevent breast cancer." Andrew Rundle, the study's lead author and an assistant professor of clinical public health at the Mailman School, added, "Molecular epidemiology, using biomarkers like PAH-DNA, gives us a new, sensitive way to detect the effects of environmental carcinogens."

Carcinogenesis. 2000;21:1281-1289

Cancer Clusters Need Research

Reuters Health (thanks to Mid Huson Options Project,Inc.

Inhibition by Persistent Organochlorines

Breast Cancer Research, 9/02

Bca Incidence/Mortality: Marin County, CA

Breast Cancer Research, 9/02

Cadmium & Estrogenic Effects

Nature Medicine, 7/03

Research on Envir Pollutants & Bca

Env Health Perspect, 7/03 Lack of Exposure Assessment Tools, Few Hypothesis-generating Studies

Glycol Methyl Ether (EGME) & Valproic Acid (Depakote)

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 4/04

Residential Pesticide Use & Reproductive Risks

Environmental Health Perspectives, 6/04

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