Magazine article Herizons

[Exposure: Environmental Links to Breast Cancer]

Magazine article Herizons

[Exposure: Environmental Links to Breast Cancer]

Article excerpt

In an electronic viewing world consisting increasingly of dumbed-down news reports, hackneyed sound bites, and infomercials, when a documentary packed with challenging and valuable information comes along, it's almost too much to take. Exposure: Environmental Links to Breast Cancer is such a documentary and because of the sheer volume of information it presents, you'll likely have to watch it a few times to digest most of it. I did, and this is despite the fact that I've written frequently about the subject as a women's health reporter.

Exposure takes on the complex and still little researched connections between pollution and cancer. Olivia Newton-John, who hosts the documentary, is one of the vast majority of women with breast cancer who has none of the commonly named risk factors -- she doesn't smoke, eats a low fat diet and does not have a history of breast cancer in her family.

Through interviews with women such as Dr. Rosalie Bertell, Dr. Devra Lee Davis, Dr. Susan Love, feminist Bella Abzug and artist/photographer Matushka a highly disturbing picture emerges of the chemical quagmire we've immersed ourselves in. Bertell, whose area of expertise is radiation, makes the ironic observation that most of the cancer causing pollutants such as radiation and organochlorines are military hand-me-downs. The chlorine-based mustard gas used in WWII was simply watered down after the war and turned on crops as pesticides. Radiation exposure is also known to cause cellular decay, which twenty to thirty years later metamorphoses into cancer. The civilian application of atomic and nuclear weapons led to the nuclear power plant disaster of Chernobyl--one hundred times more potent than its bellicose forefather, the Hiroshima bomb. …

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