Not a flower shop: Exploring breast cancer risk and gender bias

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Publication Date: 
Tue, 2012-07-17

During the 1980s and 1990s, Windsor was one of the centres in Canada of occupational health organizing in general and cancer prevention in particular. So it is not surprising that the first place in Canada to have a local cancer treatment centre gather the occupational histories of its cancer patients was in Windsor.

Brophy and Keith are currently compiling their most recent research for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. Says Keith, “We are hoping that our findings will add weight to the mounting evidence of harm from workplace exposures, particularly in the area of breast cancer.”

Mary-Louise Leidl is a Vancouver Island-based freelance writer with a wide range of interests that include health and the environment, food, travel and photography.


National Networks on Environment and Women’s Health (NNEWH) website; in particular the section on Chemical Exposures and Women’s Health

Chemical Exposure and Plastics Production: Issues for Women’s Health: A Review of Literature, prepared by Robert Dematteo. National Network on Environments and Women’s Health, December 2011.

Consuming Chemicals: Law, Science and Policy for Women's Health, edited by D.N. Scott. UBC Press, publication pending.

According to the NNEWH report Sex, Gender and Chemicals: Factoring Women into Canada’s Chemicals Management Plan (2011), the federal government’s Chemicals Management Plan (CMP), established in 2006, is not doing enough to prevent Canadians, especially women, from chronic low-dose exposures to toxic substances. According to the report, “the CMP is failing Canadian women because it does not acknowledge their unique vulnerabilities to chemical exposures and ultimately encourages the burden of risk management to fall disproportionately onto their shoulders.” The report goes on to state why the CMP does not work, two factors being its disregard for the precautionary principal and a lack of attention to workplace exposure. The report also lists recommendations, including pollution prevention. Read the full report.

Hormones and Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals: Low-Dose Effects and Nonmonotonic Dose Responses, journal article by Vandenbery et al. in Endocrine Reviews, March 2012.

CWHN collection of resources on women’s health and the environment.

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