Large study fails to link phthalates and increased breast cancer risk
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IMAGE: Reeves is an associate professor in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. view more 

Credit: UMass Amherst

AMHERST, Mass. – In the largest study to date on phthalates and postmenopausal breast cancer, a University of Massachusetts Amherst cancer epidemiology researcher found no association between breast cancer risk and exposure to the plasticizing and solvent chemicals used in such common products as shampoo, makeup, vinyl flooring, toys, medical devices and car interiors.

Published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, the research “rules out any extreme increase in risk,” but still leaves open the question of whether some relationship exists between phthalate exposure and breast cancer, says Katherine Reeves, associate professor in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences.

“Our research has raised almost as many questions as it’s answered,” says Reeves, whose study was funded with a three-year, $1.5 million grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. “I think this is an important contribution to the literature, but there’s still a lot more work to be done, including looking at younger women.”

Virtually everyone in the United States is exposed to phthalates in varying degrees, primarily

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