Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-28) introduced a pair of bills yesterday that would fund research on the connection between reproductive health and the potentially disruptive impact of environmental chemicals. The first bill (see PDF) would authorize the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) to conduct and coordinate a research program on hormone disruption and other projects and the second bill (see PDF) would authorize NIEHS to develop multidisciplinary research centers regarding women’s health and disease prevention. Each bill currently has 12 cosponsors.
In a press release, Congresswoman Slaughter said “Research has already shown that exposure to certain synthetic chemicals disrupts hormone function and contributes to increased incidences of diseases. It is vital that we continue to study and understand the effects of hormone disrupting chemicals, so we can prevent the unintended consequences on women’s health.”
Additionally, Slaughter mentioned the “increases in many diseases and disorders – including childhood cancers, testicular cancer, juvenile diabetes, thyroid disorders, learning disabilities, cognitive impairments and autoimmune disorders over the last 30 years.” Today, women’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is 1 in 7 compared to lifetime risk of 1 in 22 in the 1940s. More than half of breast cancer diagnoses are unexplained, but environmental risk factors may play a part.