Environment and Breast Cancer: Science Review

Air pollution can contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Based on a relatively small number of studies, the evidence to date generally supports an association between breast cancer and PAHs
Review Article
Evidence From Animals

Animal studies guide the development of new pharmaceuticals by testing for effectiveness and safety before the drugs are tested in humans. For commercial chemicals and pollutants, animal studies are currently the primary means of identifying carcinogens and guiding exposure reduction to prevent environmental cancers.

The Science Review database includes information on 216 chemicals that increased mammary gland tumors in animal studies conducted by the US National Toxicology Program (NTP) or included in the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Monographs, 11th Report on Carcinogens (11th ROC), Carcinogenic Potency Database (CPDB), or Chemical Carcinogenesis Research Information System (CCRIS) database. For each chemical, the database includes:
  • carcinogenic potential
  • ability to cause gene mutations
  • exposure in the general population and for women at work
  • other characteristics of chemical use, sources, and regulation.
This information is crucial for regulators to consider in decisions about limiting human exposure and for manufacturers to evaluate in reformulating products and re-engineering processes to avoid suspect chemicals. It is also valuable for epidemiologists to identify new chemicals, exposure scenarios, and exposed populations for breast cancer studies.

Please refer to the review and commentary publications for a description of methods, conclusions, and recommendations.

Criteria for chemicals included in the database