Study links workplace toxins to breast cancer


Even 1940 industrial training films knew workplace hazards had to be clearly explained. Some 70 years later, a new study on toxins in the workplace suggests they may be putting women's health at risk. For years women have been told family history, lack of exercise, and what they eat were the probable culprits leading to increased risks of breast cancer. But the study says where they work may be what really matters.

Study links workplace toxins to breast cancer - Researchers

Women who work in agriculture, metal related manufacturing, plastics and casinos have something in common -- they appear to be at a higher risk for breast cancer, according to a new study.

Margaret Keith and Jim Brophy have spent a decade looking into the connection between the workplace and cancer. And their latest research was published just yesterday.

We speak with them in a moment. But first we hear from Sandy Knight. It was stories such as hers that inspired this research. Sandy Knight worked for a plastics manufacturer in Windsor, Ontario for 20 years, until 1998. Sandy Knight now helps others in the plastics industry concerned about their health.

Jim Brophy and Margaret Keith are occupational health researchers. Their study on the connection between workplaces and breast cancer is published in the journal, Environmental Health. They were in Windsor, Ontario.

Ontario's Ministry of Labour wouldn't comment on this research... a spokesperson said it needs more time to examine the findings.

No one was available from the federal department responsible for Labour, but in a statement, it said quote, "We regularly monitor and assess research and workplace trends so that we can continue finding ways to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses."

Industry associations for plastics, manufacturing and chemicals were all contacted, but none was available for comment.

This segment was produced by The Current's Liz Hoath and Kristin Nelson.

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