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Ten years ago, when Breast Cancer Fund founder Andrea R. Martin began to suspect that breast cancer rates were tied to environmental exposures, there was no road map, no compilation of research on the topic, no one to guide what couldóand shouldóbe done to identify and reduce those exposures.

Today I'm proud to share with you the fifth edition of the report that came from Andrea's vision, State of the Evidence 2008: The Connection Between Breast Cancer and the Environment, edited by Janet Gray, Ph.D., and published by the Breast Cancer Fund.

What started as a box of carefully collected clippings has evolved into the go-to reference on breast cancer and the environment. The 2008 edition includes not only an analysis of 400 scientific studies on chemicals and radiation linked to increased breast cancer risk, but also detailed recommendations for research and policy changes that can reduce exposures and help prevent breast cancer among our children and grandchildren.

State of the Evidence is our calling card for change. And because you're an important part of that change, I invite you to explore it, share it and use it in your everyday life. Here's a sampling of what you will find on our Web site and in the report:

Emerging Themes

While each study, chemical and exposure source alone doesn't tell the whole story, looking at them together allows us to better understand how to prevent the disease. Learn more about major emerging themes in breast cancer causation:

Complexity of breast cancer causation
Timing of exposure matters
Mixtures: Chemicals, radiation and genes

Sources of Exposure

Learn more about where and how we come into contact with chemicals and radiation linked to increased breast cancer risk, summarized in helpful charts. Then learn what can be done to reduce those exposures:

Air pollution
Consumer exposures: Cosmetics, Cleaning Products, Hormones in Food, Plastics
Occupational exposures

Chemicals of Concern by Type

The evidence is divided into three main sections, examining the scientific links to breast cancer within each category. Each category includes an overview as well as fact sheets for individual chemicals of concern.

Chemical carcinogens
Hormones and endocrine-disrupting compounds

From our Web site you may also download State of the Evidence 2008 and the accompanying Advocate's Guide, read the executive summary, listen to podcasts with myself and Dr. Gray, and order printed copies of the report. It's all available at

Too many of us have a personal connection to breast cancer. In the coming year the Breast Cancer Fund will put State of the Evidence to good use working toward policy changes that protect us from toxic chemicals in our everyday lives. I hope you'll visit our Web site to read some of the findings, and to get involved with making those changes reality.

Very Truly Yours,

Jeanne Rizzo, R.N.
Executive Director
Breast Cancer Fund

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