By Dan Shapley
A groundbreaking report released last week revealed the links between breast cancer and dozens of chemicals
present in common consumer products. The cancer-causing credentials of many of those chemicals, however, have been proven only in laboratory studies of animals. So while the results give many scientists and consumer advocates reason to argue for limiting the use of the suspect chemicals, there is a great deal of uncertainty for women about the riskiness of using the products. There is also a heaping dose of uncertainty in the thousands of additional as-yet untested chemicals. The progress of science is not straight and direct. It proceeds in fits and starts, and it is an inherently conservative discipline. For many, that these chemicals cause breast cancer in animals is reason enough to limit exposure -- particularly to babies in utero and young girls
, when scientists believe exposure can be most damaging, according to a story in the May 21 Los Angeles Times.