Suzanne Fenton, a researcher and group leader at the National Institutes of Health, explained how early-life exposure to chemicals can lead to abnormal breast development in females and males during puberty, and the tie between early-life exposure and later-life disease risk.
Fenton is a leader in the Reproductive Endocrinology Group of the National Toxicology Program at the National Institute for Environmental Sciences of the National Institutes of Health. She was welcomed by the Center for Research on Families as part of the Tay Gavin Erickson Lecture Series. Fenton uses animals, such as rats and mice, to understand chemical risks to humans.
To illuminate the potential severity of risk, Fenton stated that PFOA, a chemical used for nonstick and stain resistant materials, is in “…every person in this room… Mostly it’s from drinking water, or dust, or food products.” PFOA has been shown to cause weight gain, altered cholesterol levels, cancer, delayed breast development, and reduced lactation in women exposed at high levels.
This talk was recorded on November 29, 2016 in the Commonwealth Honors College at UMass Amherst.