Featured Studies

Parabens Study (2015)

A study conducted by researchers from Silent Spring Institute in collaboration with scientists from the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine found that lower doses of parabens might increase breast cancer risk. Parabens are chemicals used as preservatives in cosmetics, lotions, sunscreens and other personal care products. They…

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Private Drinking Water (2016)

Private Drinking Water (2016)

Private wells serve 20 percent of Cape Cod residents. In a study of 20 private drinking water wells in seven Cape towns, Silent Spring Institute scientists detected low levels of pharmaceuticals and other common household chemicals, presumably from septic systems. The researchers detected the presence of these emerging contaminants—pharmaceuticals, flame retardants, and other chemicals whose…

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Public Drinking Water (2014)

Chemicals from consumer products and pharmaceuticals that flow down the drain can seep from septic systems into drinking water supplies, according to research conducted by Silent Spring Institute. In 2009, Institute researchers partnered with nine public water suppliers to collect samples from 20 wells and two distribution systems supplying drinking water on Cape Cod. Samples…

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Flame Retardants Study (2012)

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 Silent Spring Institute study, the first to test…

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Early Exposure to Chemicals (2011)

Early Exposure to Chemicals (2011)

Pregnant women already know that consuming alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco can be harmful to 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 in life. Silent Spring Institute’s review reports…

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Food Packaging Study (2011)

Food Packaging Study (2011)

Silent Spring Institute researchers teamed up with the Breast Cancer Fund to investigate whether people’s body burdens of two hormone disrupting chemicals—bisphenol A, or BPA, and the phthalate DEHP—could be reduced by switching to a fresh food diet that avoids canned food and plastic food packaging. BPA, which appears in the lining of food cans,…

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Consumer Products as Pollutants (2010)

Silent Spring Institute researchers analyzed indoor and outdoor air samples taken from 50 homes in Northern California, including 40 homes in Richmond, an urban, low-income, largely minority community close to a large oil refinery, other industry, and major transportation corridors, and 10 in Bolinas, a rural, affluent, coastal community without much local industry or transportation. The…

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Cleaning Product Use (2010)

Cleaning Product Use (2010)

In telephone interviews with more than 1,500 women, just over half of whom had been diagnosed with breast cancer, Silent Spring Institute researchers asked about product use, beliefs about breast cancer causes, and established and suspected risk factors.  The researchers found that cleaning products, air fresheners, and insect repellents were associated with breast cancer, but…

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Indoor and Outdoor Air Pollutants (2009)

Indoor and Outdoor Air Pollutants (2009)

Working with colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley, Brown University, and Communities for a Better Environment (an environmental justice organization), Silent Spring Institute researchers tested samples of indoor and outdoor air for more than 150 chemicals in 50 homes in Northern California. The study included 40 homes in low-income, predominantly minority neighborhoods bordering a…

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Wood Floor Finishes (2008)

A Silent Spring Institute study found that old wood floor finishes in some homes may be an overlooked source of exposure to the now banned environmental pollutants polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). These persistent organic pollutants have been identified worldwide as human blood and breast milk contaminants. They were widely used in industry as cooling and insulating…

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