Endocrine disrupting chemicals and breast cancer

The environment you live in and the chemicals you are exposed to may affect your risk of breast cancer.  This can be due to the growing mix of chemicals you encounter over time, not from any single use of a particular chemical.

Some types of chemicals are linked to breast cancer by the effects they have on the system that manages hormones in your body – the endocrine system.  For this reason, they are called Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs).

Here, you can explore different chemicals and other environmental factors that could affect breast cancer risk, each page will give you background information as well as top tips on how to reduce your risk. 

Did you know?

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Chemicals that may be linked to breast cancer are in many everyday products


EDCs can build up in your body, this is known as ‘body burden


Constant exposure to EDCs that disrupt your hormones may increase your breast cancer risk


EDCs have been found in polar bears in the Arctic and penguins in the Antarctic

What can you do to reduce your expsoure?

Scroll to see the things you can do

Key facts on known EDCs and their link to breast cancer

Endocrine system and EDCS

Learn how your body’s endocrine system works and how EDCs can affect it.
Read more


Parabens can be found in cosmetics, beauty products, processed and canned food.
Read more

PFAS (forever chemicals)

Studies have shown that specific PFAS may increase breast cancer risk.
Read more


Bisphenol compounds can be found in plastic bottles, food packaging and till receipts.
Read more

Air pollution and breast cancer

There is increasing evidence that exposure to high levels of polluted air may increase breast cancer risk. Read our science review, which explains how the quality of the air we breathe affects our health.

Reducing your exposure to EDCs in your home

Download our free guide to EDCs in your home. It tells you what to look out for in and around your home and advises how to remove or reduce your exposure to them.

A to Z Chemicals of Concern

Download this list to help you check labels and choose products less likely to contain harmful chemicals.

Donate to fight harmful chemicals

Support our animal-free research into EDCs and our campaigns for stronger regulations on harmful chemicals linked to breast cancer.