Why air pollution is bad for breasts

Living with high air pollution not only impacts on a person’s respiratory function, it also increases a woman’s chance of having dense breasts, scientists warn.

A study of nearly 280,000 women in the US has found that for every one unit increase in fine particle concentration (PM2.5), a woman’s chance of having dense breasts — which is a well-established risk factor for breast cancer — is increased by 4%.

In fact, women with dense breasts are around 20% more likely to have been exposed to higher concentrations of PM2.5, say the authors.

Conversely, the research shows that those