Research Updates

Priority breast carcinogens and biomonitoring methods

Study identifies priority breast carcinogens and biomonitoring methods

Every woman in America has been exposed to chemicals that are linked to breast cancer. Yet little is being done to tackle this problem. And only a small fraction of the suspect chemicals have ever been tested in people. The Silent Spring Institute conducted a study to change this that has been published in a National Institutes of Health (NIH) journal, Environmental Health Perspectives. Read more »
Breast Cancer and the Environment: Prioritizing Prevention

Experts Call for Federal Government to Increase Breast Cancer Prevention Efforts

Citing 11 Silent Spring Institute studies, a major federal interagency report issued February 12, 2013, calls for greater investment in research on breast cancer prevention. The report highlights the scientific evidence about potential environmental causes of breast cancer, and shines a light on the fact that currently only a small fraction of the government’s breast cancer funding is spent on... Read more »
couch

Gathering Dust: Many Toxic Flame Retardants Linger in Homes, Sometimes at Levels Above Health Guidelines

Flame retardants sound like a good idea to prevent our couches and computers and carpets from combusting. Yet these chemicals also accumulate and linger in our homes, sometimes winding up in household dust at levels of health concern. That was one of the central findings of a recent Silent Spring Institute study, the first to test for a wide range of flame retardants in homes. Read more »
little girl brushing teeth

Consumer Products Contain Potentially Harmful Chemicals Not Listed on Labels

Health conscious consumers often pore over product labels trying to avoid certain ingredients. But those labels can be incomplete. A new Silent Spring Institute study shows that everyday products contain a wide range of potentially harmful chemicals, including many that are not listed on product labels. Read more »
pregnant mom and daughter

Review finds early exposure to common chemicals may affect breast health

Pregnant women already know that consuming alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco can be harmful to their babies’ health.  But they may be surprised to learn that some chemicals women are exposed to in their daily lives—from their food packaging to their drinking water—could affect their children’s development and health later on. Read more »

Our study shows fresh food diet reduces levels of hormone disruptors BPA and DEHP

There are plenty of reasons to avoid processed food and to include more fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. That list just got a little longer. Read more »

Study highlights pervasive impact of consumer products on air quality in homes

A study published in Environmental Science & Technology provides the most comprehensive information to date on the mixtures of hormone disrupting chemicals people are commonly exposed to in their homes. It also confirms that indoor uses of consumer products are the primary sources of endocrine disrupting exposures in indoor air, and shows that indoor levels are higher than those outdoors. Read more »

Study reports on cleaning products, beliefs about breast cancer, and breast cancer risk

Women who report greater use of cleaning products may be at higher breast cancer risk than those who say they use them sparingly. Silent Spring Institute researchers carried out telephone interviews with 787 women diagnosed with breast cancer and 721 comparison women. “Women who reported the highest combined cleaning product use had a doubled risk of breast cancer compared to those with the... Read more »

Tests find new contaminants in Cape Cod’s drinking water supply, septic systems are likely the main source of the pollution

Tests of 20 wells and two distributions systems supplying drinking water on Cape Cod found that 75 percent of the wells and both distribution systems had detectable levels of emerging contaminants such as pharmaceuticals and consumer product chemicals, primarily coming from septic systems. Nine water districts on Cape Cod voluntarily participated in the study. The study provides some of the first... Read more »
Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk, What We Can Do Now

President's Cancer Panel highlights everyday exposures to environmental pollutants and cancer

On May 6th, the President's Cancer Panel—a watchdog group of advisors charged with monitoring the National Cancer Program—released a groundbreaking report, Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk, What We Can Do Now. Read more »

Silent Spring Institute organizes scientific workshop on mammary gland evaluation and risk assessment

Biologists, toxicologists, risk assessors, and regulators came together November 16-17, 2009, in Oakland, CA for a scientific workshop, organized by Silent Spring Institute Research Director Ruthann Rudel and Dr. Suzanne Fenton from NIEHS, to advance research on how early life exposure to EDCs influences mammary gland development and susceptibility to cancer. Read more »

The role of pollution from household and personal care products continues to go unrecognized

Despite information campaigns that warn consumers about chemical risks from household and personal care products, people often fail to make the connection between those products and their personal exposure to chemicals that could harm their health, according to research based on Silent Spring Institute’s Household Exposure Study. Read more »

Californians have twice the national average of toxic flame retardants in their blood

Californians have been exposed to significantly higher levels of toxic flame retardants called polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs, than people living in other parts of the country and the world. Read more »

Human hormones and pharmaceuticals contaminate ponds in residential areas with septic systems

A peer-reviewed study published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry shows that ponds located in residential areas where septic systems predominate are contaminated by a variety of pollutants that may be harmful to wildlife and pose unknown risks to human health. Water quality in these groundwater-fed ponds is an indicator of what’s in the surrounding aquifer, which is the sole source of... Read more »

New research finds some wood floor finishes are a likely source of PCB exposure

A Silent Spring Institute case study published on 17 January 2008 in the online open access journal Environmental Health suggests that old wood floor finishes in some homes may be an overlooked source of exposure to the now banned environmental pollutants polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Background information on Silent Spring Institute's Household Exposure Study Read more »

Cancer publishes Silent Spring Institute's review of environmental factors and breast cancer

In an initiative aimed at breast cancer risk reduction, Susan G. Komen for the Cure funded the Environment and Breast Cancer: Science Review to assess scientific research on environmental exposures and nonhereditary factors that may increase breast cancer risk. Finding risk factors we can change is particularly important as breast cancer is the leading cause of death for American women from their... Read more »