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Making New Connections Between Chemical Exposure and Disease Across Generations

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Research from PHI's Child Health and Development Studies found that women who were exposed to higher levels of the pesticide DDT in utero—particularly a more estrogenic form, o,p’-DDT, found in commercial DDT—were nearly four times more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer as adults than women who were exposed to lower in utero levels. The study was published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

“This 54-year study is the first to provide direct evidence that chemical exposures for pregnant women may have lifelong consequences for their daughters’ breast cancer risk,” said one of the study’s authors, PHI's Barbara A. Cohn, PhD. “Environmental chemicals have long been suspected causes of breast cancer, but until now, there have been few human studies to support this idea.”

Learn more about the study, which was covered in media outlets such as NBC News, The Washington Post, Forbes, TIME Magazine, National Geographic, and more. See the coverage.

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