Exposure in the womb to chemicals like Bisphenol-A (BPA) and Diethylstilbestrol (DES) can increase an offspring’s risk of breast cancer, report researchers at Yale School of Medicine.
The study is published the journal Hormones and Cancer.
A report issued by The National Work Group for Safe Markets found BPA in 90% of canned food. Low exposure to BPA, a synthetic sex hormone, has been linked to abnormal behavior, diabetes and heart disease, infertility, developmental and reproductive harm, and obesity. BPA is a pervasive chemical used in plastices and is found in a wide range of consumer products, such as, food packaging, toys, cars, plastic bottles, baby bottles and more.
BPA, DES and similar compounds are known as endocrine-disrupting chemicals, which are substances in the environment that interfere with the proper functioning of hormones. This disruption results in adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological and immune effects in both humans and wildlife.
BPA is a weak estrogen and DES is a strong estrogen, but both have a profound effect on gene expression in the breast throughout life, according to lead author of the study Hugh S. Taylor, M.D., professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences at Yale School of Medicine.
“These results show that all estrogens, even weak ones can alter the development of the breast and place our children at risk,” said Taylor. “We many not be able to see the final effects of these exposures until our children reach the age when breast cancers start to appear.”