Large Study Links Pesticides to Breast Cancer

A newly released study contains evidence that the pesticide Dieldrin may cause breast cancer. Researcher found that the women in their study who had the greatest exposure to the chemical had higher rates of breast cancer than women who suffered less exposure to it.

Dieldrin contains chemicals that mimic the hormone estrogen. Pesticide chemicals of this sort, now banned in the U.S. and Europe, have been studied several times with varying results.

The latest study, published in the British medical journal The Lancet, monitored 7,712 women over a 19-year period. The researchers discovered that women with the highest amounts of Dieldrin in their blood were twice as likely as women with the lowest levels to develop breast cancer.

“These findings support the hypothesis that exposure to (manmade) estrogens may increase the risk of breast cancer,” stated the study.

Previous smaller-scale studies found similar results. However, other studies, including two large ones equal to the size of the most recent study, found no correlation between breast cancer and estrogen-mimicking chemicals in pesticides.


AP - December 4, 1998

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