Work exposure to synthetic fibres and solvents raises breast ca risk
WOMEN exposed to certain petroleum products and synthetic fibres in their early working lives are at increased risk of later developing breast cancer.
A case control study showed that occupational exposure before the fourth decade of life – while breast cells continue to proliferate – elevated risk.
More than 1100 postmenopausal Canadian women – half of whom were diagnosed with breast cancer and half with other cancers – were interviewed for the study.
The researchers found that textile workers exposed to acrylic fibres had a seven-fold increased risk of breast cancer and nylon fibre exposure doubled the risk. Risk was also increased after early exposure to woollen fibres, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from petroleum (including benzene) and certain organic solvents.
Occup Environ Med 2010;67:263-69