Apr 2, 2010 10:42 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Study: Chemical exposure increases cancer risk

Women whose jobs expose them to certain chemicals in early adulthood may have an increased risk of breast cancer.

Canadian researchers studied the effects of chemicals and pollutants on women who were diagnosed with breast cancer after menopause. Those exposed to synthetic fibers and petroleum products -- fuel-burning byproducts -- at work were much more likely to go on to develop the disease.

Those occupationally exposed to acrylic fibers were 7 times more likely to develop breast cancer, while those exposed to nylon fibers nearly doubled their risk.

The risk was highest in women exposed before the age of 36, probably because breast cells are still active at that age.

The study was led by researchers at the Robert-Sauve Occupational Health Research Institute in Montreal, Canada and published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine.



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