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Action on chemicals linked to breast cancer urgent

9 November 2006

Action on chemicals linked to breast cancer urgently needed

It's time for the Government to take action to reduce women's exposure to synthetic chemicals linked to breast cancer, Green Party Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says.

A 10,700-strong petition by the Breast Cancer Network of New Zealand Inc calling on the Government to develop a breast cancer prevention strategy that tackles the role of synthetic environmental chemicals will be presented to Parliament today.

"It's time to end the official silence about the link between synthetic estrogenic chemicals and breast cancer, and reduce women's exposure to them. I strongly support the call to test New Zealand women for residues of cancer-linked chemicals," Ms Kedgley says.

"There are literally hundreds of synthetic chemicals linked to breast cancer in everyday use in New Zealand, yet the Government is doing nothing to identify or reduce women's exposure to them. Chemicals known to mimic oestrogen, act as mammary carcinogens, or affect mammary gland development include atrazine, dioxin, PCBs, phthalates, parabens, flame-retardants, various dyes, and vinyl chloride.

"We spend more than $40 million a year treating breast cancer, but almost nothing on strategies to prevent women from developing breast cancer in the first place.

"It is frankly appalling that the New Zealand doesn't have a breast cancer prevention strategy. I hope the Government will respond urgently to the request contained in this petition and start focusing on prevention," Ms Kedgley says.

Sue Kedgley will be on the steps of Parliament to receive the Breast Cancer Network of New Zealand Inc petition at 1pm this afternoon.


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