On May 12, 2014 the peer-reviewed scientific journal Environmental Health Perspectives published a study identifying 73 chemicals considered biomarkers for breast cancer, including food contact substances (FCMs) (Rudel et al. 2014). Researchers from the Silent Spring Institute, U.S. carried out a literature review of 216 previously identified rodent mammary carcinogens. The researchers grouped 73 chemicals with measurable biomarkers and wide population exposure into 17 groups based on exposure potential, carcinogenicity, and structural similarity. The FCM substances perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA, CAS 335-67-1) and styrene (CAS 00-42-5) are included in these groups. According to 44 cohort studies analyzed by the team, exposure to 62 of the 73 chemicals has been measured in humans, of which 45 were detected in non-occupationally exposed populations. The researchers conclude that biomonitoring programs focusing on the 73 priority chemicals would enable the identification of highly exposed population groups and subsequently the development of exposure reduction strategies aimed at preventing breast cancer incidence.


Rudel, R. et al. (2014).“New exposure biomarkers as tools for breast cancer epidemiology, biomonitoring, and prevention: a systematic approach based on animal evidence. Environmental Health Perspectives (published online May 12, 2014).