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Many of the Bay Area breast cancer organizations blame our environment for the high cancer rate. The Breast Cancer Fund, the Women’s Cancer Resource Center (WCRC), Breast Cancer Action all feel this way.

According to a Breast Cancer Fund fact sheet, there is only one proven environmental cause of human breast cancer, exposure to ionizing radiation, such as x-rays, uranium and other radioactive materials or nuclear waste.

However, of the 85,000 synthetic chemicals that are registered for use in the United States, only 7 percent of these chemicals have complete toxicology screening data available, and more than 90 percent have never been tested for their effects on human health, according to The Breast Cancer Fund.

Of the synthetic chemicals, there is strong evidence that xenoestrogens, chemicals that mimic estrogen and are found in pesticides, fuels, plastics and detergents have been shown to grow human breast cancer cells just as natural estrogen does, according to research done at Tufts University Medical School.