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New chemical link to breast cancer

13 Jul 05

A chemical found in cleaning materials, textiles and plastics pose a breast cancer threat, scientists from Texas and Southern Carolina believe.
Experts have suspected for some time that hormone-disrupting substances in the environment may pose a threat.

Now the Journal of Applied Toxicology reports one chemical, 4-nonylphenol, triggers breast cancer in mice.

But cancer experts said people should not panic and that work was needed to check whether people were also at risk.

Dr Baldwin said: "Long term exposure to 4-NP could leave individuals at a significantly increased risk of developing breast cancer."

However, Dr Sarah Rawlings, Breakthrough Breast Cancer's head of policy, cautioned: "This is a very small study and much more research is needed before any meaningful conclusions can be drawn about the link between this chemical and breast cancer in women."

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