June 24, 2011
Excerpt: Chemical exposure in early life may affect the way teenage girl's breasts develop and increase the chances of developing cancer in later years, scientists say.
Women may also experience problems with breast feeding according to a series of new reports, published in Environmental Health Perspectives.
One study looked at the affect of chemical exposure on rodents when in the womb. Breast development and the way cancer spreads in the body is similar in both mice and humans.
The study showed that when exposed to some hormonally active chemicals such as pesticides and bisphenol A, which is found in thousands of everyday plastics, their mammary glands did not grow normally and breast development was affected.
The team, led by Julia Brody from the Silent Spring Institute in Massachusetts, wrote: 'The breast develops over a long period, with vulnerability beginning in utero and extending through the first pregnancy.'