Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Environment

Another Risk from DDT

By Kathy A SvitilAugust 1, 2003 5:00 AM

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Although the United States and Europe banned DDT more than three decades ago, the pesticide lingers in the environment—and in some women's bodies. Toxicologist Corinne Charlier of the Sart Tilman Hospital in Liège, Belgium, and her colleagues recently found that women with breast cancer were five times more likely than healthy women to have DDT residues in their blood.

Previous studies have shown that chemicals derived from DDT can mimic the action of estrogen and related hormones. Excess estrogen promotes breast cancer. Charlier's study of 159 women suggests that traces of DDT carry the same risk. "If it does, it is only one factor, like a genetic mutation. In some women, the pesticide might induce breast cancer, but in other women, it alone is not sufficient," she says. The pesticide remains in the food chain because it can persist in the soil for decades and will eventually turn up in fish and grains. It is still used in developing countries, where it poses a threat not only to the local population but also to people who buy products from those countries.

2 Free Articles Left

Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In