Household Chemicals and Breast Cancer

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Wouldn’t it be nice if we could prevent cancer instead of having to deal with it after it happens? Fran Drescher, the actress with the unique voice, has a whole campaign called Cancer Schmancer, and the great thing about her approach is that she focuses on prevention. What a concept!

Did you know that world-wide more than one million women die from breast cancer every year? Yet less than one out of 10 women diagnosed with breast cancer has a genetic predisposition. So what is causing breast cancer? According to a report called State of the Evidence: The Connection Between Breast Cancer and the Environment, which summarizes more than 350 studies in breast cancer research, exposure to radiation and synthetic chemicals are possible causes.

Environmental factors that the report cites as causes of cancer include xenoestrogens (hormone disruptors) found in pesticides, fuels, plastics, detergents, and prescription drugs; solvents; hormones used in oral contraceptives and replacement therapy; ionizing radiation; aromatic amines from diesel exhaust, tobacco smoke, and grilled meats; and 1,3 butadiene, an air pollutant created by internal combustion engines, also found in tobacco smoke.

One of the environmental factors is the assortment of chemicals found in everyday cleaning products. They are such a mainstay in our lives, but they aren’t necessary to maintain a clean and sanitary house. Water, vinegar, lemons and baking soda can be used on almost any surface, safely. If you have pets or small children you may want to think about switching from chemicals to a more natural solution sooner. Think about your little baby crawling around your kitchen after you have cleaned it with a commercial cleaner, and then sticking her fingers in her mouth. You lock away your cleaners, so that your children can’t get to them, but then they are poured onto surfaces that your children play on. Does this make sense?

Making this small step can be a big step in prevention.

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October 2012
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