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Toxicant and Disease Database

The CHE Toxicant and Disease Database is a searchable database that summarizes links between chemical contaminants and approximately 180 human diseases or conditions. Diseases and or toxicants can be viewed by utilizing the search options below. See a full description of the database and its limitations.

See also CHE's compilation of other Databases and Resources

For questions or comments about the database, please contact Nancy Hepp through our Contact form.

Breast cancer

Causes    Grouped by strength of evidence

Strong Evidence

estrogens / DES

ethyl alcohol (ethanol)

ionizing radiation

tobacco smoke (active smoking)

tobacco smoke (secondhand)

Good Evidence

aromatic amines

oryzalin

PAHs

PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), not otherwise specified

progestins

solvents

tetrachloroethylene (PCE)

Limited Evidence

1,1-dichloroethane

1,2-dibromoethane

1,2-dichloroethane

1,2-dichloropropane

1,3-butadiene

acrylamide

acrylonitrile

Agent Orange

aldrin

atrazine

benzene

benzene

benzidine

chlordane

cyanazine

DDT/DDE

dieldrin

dioxins / TCDD

electromagnetic fields

ethylene oxide

herbicides

hydrazines

methylene chloride

mirex

organochlorine pesticides

pesticides

phenoxyacetic herbicides

PhIP (2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazol(4,5-b)pyridine)

propazine

simazine

solvents

styrene

tribenuron methyl

trichloroethylene (TCE)

vinyl chloride

Notes

+ - Group 1 human carcinogen, # - Group 2A human carcinogen, ^ - Group 2B human carcinogen (IARC) Occupational exposure to vehicular exhaust was associated with an increased risk of breast cancer in males. Cigarette smoke, especially second-hand smoke, contains high levels of PAHs. Eleven constituents of cigarette smoke have been found to cause mammary gland carcinogens in animals. These chemicals include benzo[a]pyrene, dibenzo[a,l]pyrene, 2-toluidine, 4-aminobiphenyl,2-amino-3-methylimidazoquinoline, 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazopyridine, butadiene, isoprene, nitromethane, ethylene oxide, and benzene. % - secondhand smoke exposure in pre-menopausal women has been associated with breast cancer, but not in post-menopausal women. *-Genetic polymorphisms in the estrogen metabolizing enzyme, CYP1A1, may predispose some women to breast ca after PCB exposure. Women with a genetic variant in the NAT enzyme system (slow acetylators) have a 70% increased risk of breast cancer if they smoke. In contrast, the opposite genetic variant, or fast acetylators, have a doubling of breast cancer risk from exposure to second hand smoke.