How long does it take before action is taken by the Federal government and cosmetic manufacturers themselves?
In two studies funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia demonstrated that two plasticizers compounds, found in some cosmetic packaging, are environmental estrogens and may be carcinogenic to the human breast.
In a report presented recently at the 96th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, the investigators said they considered two compounds bisphenol A (BPA) and BBP (n-butyl benzyl phthalate).
The Study found that BPA was the most dangerous, particularly for food applications as the danger was increased if the packaging was heated. Equally, the study found that risk was increased if the packaging was old or scratched.
Jose Russo, MD, director of Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Center at Fox Chase, pointed out to his colleagues at the American Association for Cancer Research: "Our results showed that exposure to BPA changes the gene expression profile of mammary tissues.."
He said that future studies are needed to determine whether exposure to "foreign" estrogens leads to breast cancer in rats and whether these estrogens bring about similar gene alterations in human breast tissue.
In 2003, researchers supported by the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences reported in Current Biology that small amount of the chemical had caused birth defects in mice. The substance was leached from plastic by inadvertent detergent use. And six years before that, researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia suggested that BPA had an estrogenlike activity.
BBP is widely used as a sanitizer and plasticizer in cosmetic packaging and also is believed to have an estrogenlike effect.
Roy Hertz,MD, PhD, the National Cancer Institutes late leading authority on endocrine cancers and others such as Samuel Epstein, MD, professor emeritus of Environmental and Occupational Medicine at the University of Illinois and author of Cancer-Gate: How to Win The Losing Cancer War (Baywood Publishing 2005) pointed out that in view of the knowledge that "foreign" estrogens are known cancer-causing agents, lifelong exposure to these contaminants is clearly a risk factor for human breast cancer.
How long will it take before these packages are reformulated? How many reports of breast cancer risks for these unnecessary chemicals must there be?