Can cleaning products cause breast cancer?

Yes, maybe, sort of. Could be--according to a study just published in Environmental Health.

Researchers conducted phone interviews in 1999 and 2000 with 787 women who were diagnosed with breast cancer between 1988 and 1995. They also interviewed 721 women in a control group. The interviewers asked about the women's use of cleaning products and pesticides, about their beliefs in the causes of their cancer and about family history. They found that women with breast cancer were twice as likely than the control group to have used air freshener and to have been exposed to more cleaning products.

However, the scientists cautioned, all the information came from women recalling their use of cleaning products, and could be biased. The study found no link between pesticide use and breast cancer.

Here's a link to the abstract, which will in turn lead to the whole study, which was submitted in 2010.

So, should the study have been done, considering that all the information relied on women's memories?

In the meantime, using simple products is better for the environment. But alas, when we buy the hippie-recycled-feel-good products, we find they don't work as well as the strong-smelling stuff with ammonia and bleach.

[Elbow grease works best.]


patty said...

Hi Sandi,
My name is Patty and I'm a journalist writing an article about breast cancer. I'd really like to interview you and will of course mention your blog and book. It should only take a few minutes. Can you email me at Thanks!

Flatsy McNasty said...

Messy Bessie, here. Well, as someone who had avoided doing a lot of cleaning, I hate to say it, but I still got breast cancer.

Cancer Bitch said...

I'm not a cleaner either and I got bc. This makes me want to advocate for *more* experiments on mice. At least you don't have to rely on what they say they think they did.

Flatsy McNasty said...

Well ok, but I am thinking cats are the Felix Ungars of the animal world. Do you think the mice will do Windows???

Cancer Bitch said...

If there's cheese at the end of the task, they will.

Anonymous said...

The photos f the 4 ladies. Do you know who they are? Where did you get it? I'd love to use it.Thx