A newly published study has concluded that exposure to the toxin DDT is linked to an increased breast cancer risk in the granddaughters of exposed women.
A new article published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, shows that the higher levels of DDT a grandmother has in her blood while pregnant, the higher the probability that her granddaughter will likely be overweight. The research also showed the granddaughter would likely have an earlier onset menstruation.
The study, organized by Public Health Institute’s Child Health and Development Studies (CHDS) and the University of California at Davis, concluded:
“Ancestral exposure to environmental chemicals, banned decades ago, may influence the development of earlier menarche and obesity, which are established risk factors for breast cancer and cardiometabolic diseases.”
Obesity and early menstruation are commonly seen as risk factors for developing breast cancer, as well as diabetes and high blood pressure.
The study began in 1959 by collecting blood samples from 20,000 pregnant mothers in the San Francisco area. The researchers collected samples throughout the 1960s when DDT use was heavy and far reaching. The researchers recently contacted the children of the women and their daughters.
The goal was to “examine associations of environmental chemical levels with health outcomes in 3 generations: founding generation of women exposed during pregnancy, the offspring generation exposed in utero during development, and the grandchild generation exposed in the egg.”