The comments came from the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) after the publication of a report on breast cancer and exposure to hormonally active chemicals. Synthetic danger The report, which was commissioned by HEAL and CHEM Trust, concluded that certain chemicals in everyday products contribute to breast cancer and should be removed to protect the public. "Good laboratory and epidemiological evidence exists suggesting that man-made chemicals which mimic oestrogen contribute to breast cancer," said Professor Andreas Kortenkamp, the study coordinator and head of toxicology at the University of London's school of pharmacy. The study is being launched at the European Parliament where legislation concerning ingredients in cosmetic products is currently under consideration. Legislative opportunity Genon Jenson, the executive director of HEAL, said MEPs should not miss the opportunity presented in three legislative areas; REACH, pesticide reform and the cosmetics directive to tighten controls on certain synthetic chemicals. "Several man-made chemicals should be removed from the market and replaced with less harmful substitutes," said Jenson. "Such action could reduce the suffering of millions of women." Breast cancer risk Over the last 20 years, incidence of breast cancer has doubled in some European countries, according to data from the WHO. Many interest groups and scientists claim that this phenomenon is linked to the proliferation of synthetic chemicals in consumer products. Around 200 scientists, including Kortenkamp, signed the Prague Declaration in 2005, which raised concerns about the cancer risk posed by everyday chemicals including some pesticides, flame retardants, cosmetic ingredients and medicines.