Breast Cancer, Chemicals Linked

According to Jim Hightower’s new book “There’s Nothing in the Middle of the Road But Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos,” the chemical industry has been profiting from both manufacturing chemicals that have been linked to breast cancer, as well as making money from cancer treatments.

Journalist Molly Ivins quoted Hightower in her Saturday column, saying “first they make money from the organochlorines that some say are linked to breast cancer; then they urge us all to go out and get mammograms to detect the cancer; then they make money trying to cure it. This is an entirely new kind of vertical monopoly.”

Organochlorines are man-made chemicals often found in our environment and food, like dioxins, DDT, benzene and CFCs. Ivins cited a study at the Institute of Chemical Toxology at Wayne State University that found a combination of organochlorines caused breast cells to proliferate at a high rate. Breast cancer victims often have high levels of organochlorines in their bodies, and chemical and farm workers who have close contact with organochlorines have high rates of breast cancer. Israel recently reported a 30% drop in breast cancer rates after banning three cancer-causing pesticides.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month was originally sponsored by Imperical Chemical Industries, manufacturers of organochlorines. They were found responsible for dumping toxic chemicals in the St. Lawrence River, and have been accused by the federal government of dumping DDT and PCBs into the L.A. and Long Beach harbors.


Fort Worth Star-Telegram - October 12, 1997

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