DDT, a widely used insecticide, was banned in the United States in 1972 because the Environmental Protection Agency classified it as a potential carcinogen.
In Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, researchers wrote about a study of 9,300 daughters in the Child Health and Developmental Studies pregnancy cohort who were followed for 54 years. All the women in the study received obstetric care in Alameda County, Calif., from 1959 to 1967, and their daughters were followed through adulthood.
DDT was widely used in Alameda County in those years, and during that time period, every mother had some measurable DDT in her blood.
The scientists identified breast cancer by age 52 years in the offspring and matched them to a control group. Higher maternal DDT exposure was associated with a 270 percent risk of breast cancer in their daughters.
This story is eerily similar to the story of diethylstilbestrol (DES), a synthetic estrogen that was widely prescribed to pregnant women in the 1950s and 1960s. It was banned in 1971 when it was discovered that DES caused vaginal cancer in female offspring.
Although DDT and most uses of DES have been banned, we’re still exposed to endocrine-disrupting chemicals in our environment, including chemicals found in plastics and synthetic hormones found in our food supply.
What can you do? It is important to eat organic foods free of synthetic hormones, and to periodically detoxify. Exercise and sweating are two good ways to help the body excrete toxic chemicals that have built up.
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