Environment and Breast Cancer: Science Review

Evidence From Humans
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This article is not a primary breast cancer epidemiology research report. It is provided as a supplementary resource for interpreting the epidemiological literature.
Pesticide exposure and women's health
Garcia, A. M. American Journal of Industrial Medicine. 2003. 44:6, 584-94.
Topic area
Environmental pollutant - Pesticides
Funding agency
Not reported
Results Comments
Review. Key points: 1) The health effects of pesticides are most often studied in male populations, in part because many consider that men are more highly exposed to pesticides than women. However women are also highly exposed to pesticides, both through agricultural work (44% of agricultural field workers in developing countries are female), and through take-home exposures by spouses who do agricultural work. Furthermore female agricultural workers are more likely than men to be illiterate and less educated, which make them less able to understand the dangers of the products they are using, and take precautionary measures to avoid exposures. 2) Research on endocrine-disrupting pesticides has thus far been mostly focused on DDT and its metabolites, even though there are many other pesticides that are known to have endocrine disrupting effects.
Author address
Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain. anagar@uv.es