• Pregnancy Toxins Quadruple Breast Cancer Rate

    by Dr. Susan Sklar
    on Jul 29th, 2015

If you think toxins are just a buzz word, think again.  Some of the most detrimental forces on health in our modern world are caused by toxins in our environment.

Here’s one that just came to light.  DDT has not been used in the United States for many years.  After its use during World War II for controlling typhus and malaria, it was used as a pesticide on foods.  It was made famous by Rachel Carson in her 1962 book “Silent Spring.”  Finally, it was outlawed in 1972 for agricultural use in the United States.  It still is used in some parts of the world for malaria control.

DDT is known as an endocrine disruptor.  This means it acts like a hormone, but not in a good way.  It mimics some of the actions of hormones, particularly estrogen, but doesn’t do it in the normal way.

Age at time of exposure to DDT is the important factor in whether it causes breast cancer in women.  Women exposed to DDT as adults don’t seem to have an increased rate of breast cancer.  However, when exposed to DDT at a young age, breast cancer risk soars.  Little girls exposed to DDT at age 4 have 5 times the rate of breast cancer as adults.

A recent study from Berkeley, California shows that women who were exposed to DDT while they were in utero have a 4 times increased rate of breast cancer.  This means that their mothers were exposed to high amounts of DDT while they were pregnant.  Women born in the 1960’s when DDT use was high are now reaching menopause age.  This study is the first time ever that a large group of mothers and daughters have been studied for long term effects.  The study shows that women are affected at younger ages and with more aggressive types of breast cancer tumors.

Although DDT is banned in the U.S., it is still use worldwide and it has a long life and therefore stays in the environment for a long time after use. One of the benefits of banning it was the return of populations of the bald eagle and the peregrine falcon which were once nearly decimated.

Author Dr. Susan Sklar

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