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New Report--Chemical Exposures of Women Workers in the Plastics Industry in Relation to Breast Cancer Risk, National Network on Environments and Women's Health & Canadian Women's Health Network

A new study published in the journal New Solutions presents strong evidence that women employed in the plastics industry are exposed to workplace chemicals that can increase their risk of breast cancer and reproductive abnormalities. Spearheaded by Robert DeMatteo, in partnership with Margaret Keith, James Brophy, and the National Network on Environments and Women's Health (NNEWH), the research supports Brophy and Keith's recently reported epidemiological findings of a 5-fold elevated breast cancer risk for premenopausal women who work in the plastics industry.  Together, these studies reveal the need for swift regulatory action on carcinogenic and endocrine disrupting chemicals in Canada.

From extensive interviews with workers and a review of available government and industry hygiene reports, the study found that exposure controls and government enforcement was virtually non-existent in many workplaces.

Brophy and Keith note that the study's synthesis of scientific findings on carcinogens and endocrine disruptors is one of its most important contributions.

The full study can be found on the following websites:,, and

Funding for this project has been made possible through a financial contribution from Health Canada. This project incorporates research and focus groups funded by The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation - Ontario.

The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of Health Canada.