NEWTON, Mass., July 21 (UPI) — Women who reported greater use of cleaning products had higher levels of breast cancer risk than those who said they used them sparingly, U.S. researcher say.
Julia Brody of the Silent Spring Institute and colleagues conducted telephone interviews with 787 women diagnosed with breast cancer and 721 comparison women. The researchers questioned women on what products they use, beliefs about breast cancer causes and established and suspected risk factors.
The study, published in the journal Environmental Health, found cleaning products, air fresheners and insect repellents were associated with breast cancer, but little association was observed with overall pesticide use.
“Women who reported the highest combined cleaning product use had a doubled risk of breast cancer compared to those with the lowest reported use,” Brody says in a statement. “Use of air fresheners and products for mold and mildew control were associated with increased risk. To our knowledge, this is the first published report on cleaning product use and risk of breast cancer.”
However, Brody cautions women with breast cancer who believe chemicals and pollutants contribute a lot to the risk of developing cancer may be more likely to report high product usage, or over report such usage. Therefore, more research is needed to avoid recall bias, she said.
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