Exposure to certain endocrine-disrupting chemicals could elevate the risk of breast cancer, according to a new comprehensive systematic review of epidemiological research. However, for many chemicals, evidence is inconsistent or still limited. The review was carried out by researchers at the universities of Hong Kong and Eastern Finland and published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition.
Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) can interfere with the body’s hormonal system, also called the endocrine system, and are widely present in the environment. They originate from a variety of sources, including pesticides, plasticisers and other industrial and pharmaceutical chemicals, as well as natural sources. Humans are often exposed to EDCs through food, but other possible exposure routes include drinking water, skin contact and air.