On September 15, 2015 the National Food Institute at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU Food) reported on the results of a DTU Food research project investigating the effect of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) on breast development in rats. In the project, Karen Riiber Mandrup exposed female rats to EDCs, such as bisphenol A (BPA, CAS 80-05-7), parabens and UV-filters, during pregnancy and after birth until weaning. She found that exposure of the rats’ offspring to EDCs during fetal life and via breast milk increased mammary gland growth in young females. Mandrup considers these results of concern as early breast development may be associated with increased risk of developing breast cancer later in life. She suggests that long-term studies are needed to examine the effects of EDCs on mammary gland development and also whether similar effects can be expected in humans. Mandrup points out that the effect of chemicals on mammary gland development can be overlooked in chemical risk assessment as commonly mammary glands of adult animals are studied. Mandrup’s results are published in her PhD thesis (available on DTU Food’s website) and in the peer-reviewed journal Reproductive Toxicology.

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DTU Food (September 15, 2015). “Endocrine disruptors can affect breast development.


Mandrup, K.R. (2015). “Endocrine disrupting chemicals: Effects on mammary gland development and female genital malformations.DTU Food

Mandrup, K.R. et al. (2015). “Mixtures of environmentally relevant endocrine disrupting chemicals affect mammary gland development in female and male rats.Reproductive Toxicology 54:47-57.