The Breast Investigator
Florence Williams knows a thing or two about boobs (they don’t officially stop growing until you get pregnant; guys may prefer smaller ta-tas after all). She also knows that you should protect your chest without driving yourself nuts. Behold, some of her fascinating findings:
Just how complex are breasts?
So complex. I like to say they almost always have antennae out so they can feed the body information. They are like sponges; they seem to absorb things quickly, including toxins. In fact, I had my breast milk tested and it came back positive for flame retardants, pesticides, and ingredients found in jet fuel.
Whoa. How could that be?
The science isn’t clear, but it may be because breasts are very fatty and a lot of industrial
chemicals are attracted to fat. Unfortunately, many chemicals can also mimic the female hormone estrogen, high levels of which have been linked to breast cancer.
How can you cut out chemicals?
The truth is you can’t totally control your exposure. I make an effort, but I don’t want to make myself crazy. What we really need is better science and government involvement. The best thing you can do for your breasts is encourage more research into prevention.
Write letters to your elected officials; get involved by volunteering for a group like the Silent Spring Institute or Breast Cancer Action.
Great idea. Day-to-day prevention advice?
I think it makes sense for women to avoid exposure to gasoline by-products. When you’re pumping gas, stand a few feet away from the pump.
And don’t walk or jog next to a highway. It also makes sense to try to avoid flame retardants, which are often used in furniture. Do your research, and read labels before buying.
Look for a “green” cleaner to dry-clean your clothes.
What about BPA?
In animal studies, BPA, a chemical often found in plastics and canned food, appears to alter mammary glands in ways that can lead to cancer. We don’t know for sure that it causes human tumors, but I would take a moderated approach. Buy BPA-free canned food and bottles. Personally, I never take a store receipt— they’re often covered in BPA.
Any other tips?
Do what seems comfortable and manageable: Try eating more fresh and less canned food, avoid cigarette smoke, and drink lightly. These things are great for you beyond breast health, so you get big rewards.
All Fitness ___The Breast Investigator ____Florence Williams