Friday, June 19, 2015

Pesticides may have impacted second generation

Pregnant women's exposure to DDT may have boosted breast cancer risk for their daughters

A new peril has been discovered for an old insecticide. And it's intergenerational.

Sort of a treacherous hand-me-down.

A recent study shows "a startling link between pregnant women exposed to DDT and the breast cancer risk to their daughters," reported The Washington Post. 

The 54-year study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, looked at women who were part of the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan in the Oakland-Berkeley area between 1959 and 1967.

During that time, DDT, which was banned by the United States five years later, "was widely used and accumulated in the fat of animals that we eat and was found in milk, butter, cheese and other products in the food supply," according to the Post story by Ariana Eunjung Cha.

Each one of the mothers, who gave birth to a total of 9,300 daughters, purportedly had some measurable degree of DDT in her blood.

The story indicated that "elevated levels of DDT in the mother's blood were associated with almost a four-fold increase in her daughter's risk of breast cancer."

Researchers also determined, the Post reported, that "those with higher levels of exposure were diagnosed with more advanced breast cancer."

DDT — which previously had been linked with birth defects, miscarriage and reduced fertility — still is used in Africa and Asia to control the spread of malaria.

The Environmental Protection Agency classifies the insecticide as a probable carcinogen.

In "Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer," which is aimed at male caregivers (as well as patients), I, Woody Weingarten, cite multiple studies that focus on possible causes of the disease. 

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