The Environmental Impact of Our Health
Based on the article from Integrative Practitioner: Breast Cancer and the Environment & Environmental Policy by Susan Luck
There exists approximately 100,000 synthetic chemicals registered for commercial use in the world today, with several thousand new ones being formulated every year. Many of these chemicals have not been tested for human safety prior to approval.
The release of the CDC’s Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals concluded that most Americans carry approximately a 150 chemical body burden. Studies are now linking these chemicals to several disease pathologies including Alzheimer’s, ADHD, Diabetes, and Hormonal imbalances as well as infertility. Furthermore, it has been suggested that the increase in the amount of cancers may be due in part to increased levels of exposure to these substances.
Once substance known as BPA, found widely in plastics, has been linked to breast cancer in women. Global Research estimates that up to 50% of breast cancer may be related to endogenous and exogenous estrogen exposure from BPA and several other substances acting as endocrine disruptors. This not only affects hormonal cancers, but has a profound effect on the youth. Recent reports continue to determine that critical windows of susceptibility in early life exist. This means that a risk for deterimental genetic expression later in life increases with earlier exposure.
Compounding matters is the decrease in nutritional value of our food, which contains potent phytonutrients aiding the body’s detoxification measures. Without proper nutrients, the body is not strong enough to rebuild and detoxify.
For these reasons, I include a comprehensive history detailing a nutritional assessment, environmental exposure history, and lifestyle factors with every patient. It is becoming more and more evident in healthcare that environmental exposure histories must be implemented when assessing the cause of any illness.
Please Review my links on my homepage for links to references of this article located on left hand side. The full report from the Environmental Working Group is posted under Physician’s Resources, The Effect of GMOs, Personal Care Product Ratings, Why to Eat Organic, and EMFs are found under Resources.
Follow up article on Breast Cancer and Risk Factors from Cornell University:
There has been growing interest in whether environmental factors, including exposures to certain chemicals or changes in lifestyle, may increase the risk of breast cancer. This fact sheet will discuss research linking environmental chemicals and the risk of breast cancer. This will include exposures of concern in the home and workplace, and chemicals known to cause mammary (breast tumors) in laboratory animals. The fact sheet will also discuss new emerging data on how exposures to certain chemicals early in life may affect breast development and breast cancer risk, as well as new work identifying important gene-environmental interactions. Current challenges and new avenues of research also will be discussed.
Established risk factors only partially explain breast cancer risk
Risk factors consistently associated with a higher breast cancer risk are called “established” risk factors. Established risk factors include getting older, having regular menstrual periods earlier, going through menopause later in life, having a first child late in life, not having any children, having a mother or sister with breast cancer, past exposure of breasts to ionizing radiation, or having certain types of benign breast disease. But these factors explain only about 25 to 50% of breast cancer cases (Madigan et al., JNCI vol. 87, pp. 1681-1685, 1987; Rockhill et al., Am. J. Epidemiol., vol. 147, pp. 826-833, 1998).
Headings related to breast cancer include:
Pesticide exposure, breast cancer risk on farms, organochlorine pesticide exposurer (DDT), Animal studies and linkages to cancer, endocrine disruptor (xenoestrogens), chemicals (DES), genes and environmental factors, examples of chemicals that cause breast tumors in animals and more references.