SIDEBAR: Breast Cancer: Toxic Links

• Part One: Cause & Controversy
• Part Two: A Plague of Neglect
• Sidebars: Risk Factors; Toxic Links; Long Island
• Printable: Download the magazine-style PDF

No one is going to deny the cancer-causing potential of industrial, agricultural and consumer chemicals. What’s at issue is actual human risk from exposure to these chemicals in our daily environment. And even if a chemical or substance has been proven to be harmful, there’s no guarantee that a legislative body or regulatory agency will severely limit or ban its use. Consider the ongoing national debate over the sale and use of tobacco. “You have industries saying, ‘we can’t afford to meet this regulation and it’ll put us out of business, you have to be a little bit more lax,'” said Allan Hirsch, spokesman for the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) in California.