Frequent use of household cleaning products may boost reast cancer risk, according to a new study that drew criticism from medical experts and the cleaning industry.
Air fresheners and products to control mold and mildew were particularly linked, says researcher Julia Brody, PhD, executive director of the Silent Spring Institute in Newton, Mass., who led the study.
It is published in the journal Environmental Health.
The study is believed to be the first published report linking household cleaning products and breast cancer risk. "Many laboratory studies led us to be concerned about particular compounds in cleaning products and air fresheners," Brody tells WebMD.
While Brody sees a link, others are not convinced. ''What this study really shows is, when a study relies on people's memory of their exposure, and people are concerned about that exposure, you don't get reliable answers," says Michael Thun, MD, vice president emeritus of epidemiology for the American Cancer Society.