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EmpowHer's Health Tip: Chemical in Plastic Changes Breast Cell Gene Activity: Study

A new U.S. study says that trace amounts of bisphenol A -- a chemical used to make polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins lining most tin cans -- can alter the activity of genes in normal breast cells in ways similar to what's seen in deadly breast cancers.

This link "is highly supportive of the concept that overexposure to BPA and/or similar compounds could be an underlying factor in the aggressiveness, if not in the causality" of breast cancers, study lead author Shanaz Dairkee, a senior scientist at the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute in San Francisco, said in an e-mail, Toronto's Globe and Mail newspaper reported.

For this study, Dairkee and colleagues took small samples of normal, non-cancerous cells from the unaffected breasts of eight women who already had breast cancer. The cells were placed in test tubes and exposed to the BPA.