Common Chemicals Found to Cause Breast Cancer

cancer, toxins

A recent report published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives has found a wide range of breast cancer-causing chemicals in everyday products including cleaners, building materials, and even treated tap water.

The study, which attempts to discover biomarkers for use in breast cancer epidemiology, bio-monitoring and prevention, has uncovered 17 chemicals which cause breast cancer in rats and are predicted to do so in humans as well.

These cancer-causing chemicals come from a variety of sources and whilst some, such as cigarette smoke, come as no surprise, other common sources are much more concerning. According to the report, breast cancer-causing chemicals are hiding in everyday products including carpet cleaners, food packaging, degreasers and other seemingly benign items. Perhaps the most surprising, if not ironic finding, is that many breast implants actually contain breast cancer causing chemicals.

The primary chemicals of concern and their common exposure sources are listed below.

ChemicalExposure SourceEFS Alternatives & Treatments
1,3-ButadienePetrol, vehicle exhaust, tobacco smoke,

heating of some cooking oils

AcrylamideCooked food, tobacco smoke, water treatment by-products, some consumer products
Aromatic amines I: 2,4-toluene diamine

(TDA) and toluene diisocyanates (TDI)

Uncured or newly finished polyurethane foam,

spray-insulation, sealants and coatings, some breast implants

ActiveEco’s soon to be released industrial sealants do not contain aromatic amines suspected to be carcinogenic >
Aromatic amines II:

benzidine and aniline dyes, combustion products and other sources

Hair and textile dyes; used in the production of paints, printing inks, in the food industry, in liquid crystal displays, and inkjet and laser printers
BenzenePetrol, vehicle exhaust, tobacco smoke, solvents, parts washer fluidPurasolve Safety Solvents replace a wide range of toxic solvents containing Benzene and its derivatives >
Halogenated organic

solvents, e.g. methylene chloride

Dry cleaning, spot remover, glues, degreasers, paint strippers, aerosol propellants, contaminated drinking water from improper waste disposal;Purasolve Safety Solvents are an effective alternative to industrial solvents containing halogenated organic solvents >


The ActiveEco range includes spot removers and floor cleaners free from halogenated organic solvents >


Triple7 degreasers are non-toxic and free from halogenated organic solvents >

Ethylene oxide; propylene oxideTobacco smoke, food and medical sterilization, vehicle exhaust, paint
Flame retardants and degredation products:2,2-bis(bromomethyl)-1, 3-propanediol, 2,3-dibromo-1propanolFlame retardants primarily used in plastics and foams
Heterocyclic aminesGrilled meat
Hormones and endocrine disruptors; e.g. endogenous and

exogenous estrogens and estrogen mimics

Pharmaceutical hormones, consumer products and commercial chemicals with hormonal activity
MXWater disinfection with Chlorine productsActiveEco AquaSmart is an approved water treatment chemical that does not contain chlorine (which causes MX contamination) >
Nitro-PAHs, e.g. 1-nitropyreneDiesel exhaust
Ochratoxin A (OTA)Mycotoxin in grains, nuts, pork; also present in mouldy environmentsTriple7 Iodosan is a high performance microbiocide effective in sanitising mouldy environments  >


ActiveEco Aquasmart is a Hydrogen Peroxide and Silver based sanitiser that is effective against mould >

PAHs, e.g. benzo[a]pyreneVehicle exhaust, tobacco smoke, charred food
PFOA, related compoundsGrease, water and stain-proof coatings, contaminated drinking water
Pharmaceuticals (non-hormonal)A number of over-the-counter, veterinary, and prescription medicines that induce mammary tumours
StyreneBuilding materials, surface cleaners and consumer products made from polystyrene, indoor air, cigarette smoke, polystyrene food packagingTriple7 cleaners and degreasers are an effective alternative to metal surface cleaners (many of which contain styrene) >

Source: New Exposure Biomarkers as Tools For Breast Cancer Epidemiology, Biomonitoring, and Prevention: A Systematic Approach Based on Animal Evidence. Environmental Health Perspectives 12 May 2014

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