Home > Environmental justice, Health, Podcasts, Politics, Pollution > Interview with Dr. James Brophy about a groundbreaking study on the links between workplace pollutants and breast cancer

Interview with Dr. James Brophy about a groundbreaking study on the links between workplace pollutants and breast cancer


On Earthgauge Radio this week, I featured an interview with Dr. James Brophy who is an adjunct professor at the University of Windsor and the co-author of a groundbreaking new study demonstrating that women working in particular occupations have an increased risk of developing breast cancer, likely due to exposure to toxic chemicals and environmental pollutants. Click the audio player to stream the interview or right click here to download.

This research, which was published in the prestigious online journal Environmental Health, seems to support growing evidence of the links between pollutants in our environment and the risks of developing serious diseases such as cancer. Dr. Brophy and Dr. Margaret Keith found that women working in particular occupations, such as manufacturing and farming, have an increased risk of developing breast cancer. Women employed in the automotive plastics industry, for instance, were almost five times as likely to develop breast cancer, prior to menopause, as women in the control group.

Needless to say, this research has been causing quite a stir and has been reported around the world as a groundbreaking contribution to women’s health. Jeanne Rizzo, president of the Breast Cancer Fund, a San Francisco-based group that has pressed for more research into environmental causes of breast cancer called the study “a very powerful piece of work. The piece that’s really been missing for female breast cancer is occupation.” The study clearly demonstrates the value of including detailed work histories in the environmental and occupational epidemiology of breast cancer. In our interview, James Brophy discusses how and why the study was conducted, the implications of this research and why the cancer research community has been so slow to recognize the occupational and environmental risks associated with breast and other forms of cancer.

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