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Breast cancer linked to workplace chemicals

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Working in close proximity to certain chemicals could raise a woman’s chance of developing breast cancer by 50%, a study has revealed.

Jobs involving above average exposure to chemicals include farm work, plastics production, metal production and bar work, the study suggests.

Women working for over a decade in these fields had double the risk of developing the condition. For women under 40, working in metal or plastics factories resulted in a risk five times higher of being diagnosed with cancer.

All of these jobs expose employees to possible carcinogens, which can disrupt hormonal balance.

It is believed that even minimal contact with these chemicals on a regular basis could result in hormonal changes which could lead to cancer.

Following the research, the charity Breast Cancer UK has called for the Government to introduce new restrictions on the use of chemicals.

Clare Dimmer, who chairs the charity, said that the study shows how a ‘cocktail’ of chemicals could be harming our health on a daily basis.

She added: “This research has implications for everyone, not just those working in the industrial sector. We are all exposed to these cancer causing chemicals on a daily basis due to their use in a whole range of everyday products like food and drink packaging.”

Every year some 46,000 British women are diagnosed with breast cancer and over 12,000 lose their lives to the condition.

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