Environment and Breast Cancer: Science Review

Evidence From Humans
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Historical reconstruction of wastewater and land use impacts to groundwater used for public drinking water: exposure assessment using chemical data and GIS
Swartz, C. H., Rudel, R. A., Kachajian, J. R., Brody, J. G. J Expo Anal Environ Epidemiol. 2003. 13:5, 403-16.
Topic area
Environmental pollutant - Drinking water, endocrine disrupting compounds
Study design
Other: GIS exposure study
Funding agency
Other: Massachusetts legislature
Study Participants
Menopausal Status
The menopausal status of women included in this study is listed here.
Pre menopausal
Post menopausal
Participant selection: Inclusion and exclusion criteria
Criteria used to select participants in the study.
Controls interviewed in the Cape Cod Breast Cancer and Environment Study for whom all residential addresses during 1972-1995 could be geocoded on Cape Cod.
Exposure Investigated
Exposures investigated
Drinking water contaminated by wastewater. (1) Estimated nitrate exposure at Cape Cod residences, based on years of residence and historical drinking water quality measures reported under the Safe Drinking Water Act. (2) water quality measured by the exte
How exposure was measured
GIS/geographic location Environmental sample
Exposure assessment comment
Drinking water quality measures are proxies for contamination by endocrine disrupting compounds, which have not historically been measured in drinking water. Exposures off Cape Cod are excluded. Activity patterns related to exposure are not assessed. Exposure estimates are sensitive to assumptions about the mixing of water from multiple wells within a distribution system.
Ethnic groups with separate analysis
If this study provided a separate analysis by ethnic or racial group, the groups are listed here.
Confounders considered
Other breast cancer risk factors, such as family history, age at first birth, and hormone replacement therapy use, that were taken into account in the study.
Genetic characterization included
If the study analyzed relationships between environmental factors and inherited genetic variations, this field will be marked “Yes.” “No”, if not.
Description of major analysis
Descriptive statistics.
Strength of associations reported
Degradation of many, but not all public drinking water supplies was shown.
Author address
Silent Spring Institute, Newton, Massachusetts 02148, USA. swartz@silentspring.org