Organic solvents are a breast cancer risk

Exposure to organic solvents could be a significant cause of breast cancer in women, with over 50 per cent higher rates in workers exposed to chlorinated alkanes, chlorinated alkenes, and MAHs (mononuclear aromatic hydrocarbons – for example, aromatic solvents with one benzene ring – benzene, toluene, xylene).  

The study examined whether past occupational exposures to selected organic solvents were associated with the incidence of invasive breast cancer in postmenopausal women in Montréal, Canada.

“Our findings suggest occupational exposure to certain organic solvents may increase the risk of incident postmenopausal breast cancer,” the authors said.

Westra, S, Goldberg, MS, Labrèche, F, Baumgartner, J, Ho, V. The association between the incidence of postmenopausal breast cancer and occupational exposure to selected organic solvents, Montreal, Canada, 2008-2011. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, volume 66, pages 911-927, 2023.


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