DDT and Breast Cancer

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

It’s been a while since my last post, but I hope that my belated ‘Eid Mubarak to those who I didn’t get a chance to congratulate is still accepted. I hope all of you had a wonderful Ramadan and ‘Eid. I also hope that we are all moving towards improvement now that Ramadan has ended.

Living on Earth held a show with Doctor Barbara Cohn, on the topic of DDT, a powerful insecticide which was used in the mid 1900’s and which is now banned in North America, and its relation to breast cancer for women who were children between 1945-1965. Below is the transcript of the show, along with a link to the audio if you prefer listening in.

Click here to listen to audio


HOST: Steve Curwood
GUESTS: Dr. Barbara Cohn, Van Jones, Nate Tyler
REPORTER: Jeff Young, Ingrid Lobet

CURWOOD: From Public Radio International—this is Living on Earth.

DDT and Breast Cancer

CURWOOD: From the Jennifer and Ted Stanley studios in Somerville, Massachusetts, this is Living on Earth. I’m Steve Curwood. For years the pesticide DDT has been a major suspect in the breast cancer epidemic. But studies looking at DDT residues in the tissue of women with breast cancer have been contradictory.

A new study published in Environmental Health Perspectives is based on actual blood samples preserved from as long as 40 years ago and the results are startling. It shows that if a female is exposed to DDT before puberty, she is five times as likely to get breast cancer as a woman who is exposed to DDT later in life. And virtually every female in the U.S. who was a child between 1945 and 1965, when DDT was widely used, is in a high-risk category. Dr. Barbara Cohn from the Public Health Institute in Berkeley, California was the lead author of the study. I asked her how she was able to get her data

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