According to new research, women who had been exposed to higher levels of the pesticide DDT while in utero face increased risk of breast cancer later in life than those who were exposed to lower levels
Researchers evaluated 54 years of data from women starting from the time they were in utero. Out of 9,300 women who had been tracked from even before birth, 118 women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Women whose mothers had been exposed to significant levels of DDT during pregnancy were four times as likely to have a small quantity of the pesticide.
The study was published in Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism shows direct evidence that higher DDT exposure in utero places women at increased risk of breast cancer.
Researchers believed that environmental chemicals are the causes of breast cancer. Until now, there have been few human studies to support this idea.
The United States has banned DDT since the 1970s. However, many potentially affected women who were born during that era are just not reaching the age when they are at the greatest risk for breast cancer.
Despite data that has depicted the many health risks of DDT, some countries still use the chemical in an effort to fight malaria. DDT is linked to Alzheimer’s disease, obesity, and kidney and ovarian diseases. Researchers really believe that policy makers should consider the study as they evaluate whether to continue using DDT.
Although at the moment there is no direct evidence, researchers will carry out more research due to the belief that there is a connection and the predicted increased breast cancer risk.