09/15/2009 03:20 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Response To Dr. Susan Love's Post On Breast Cancer

Dr. Susan Love is a distinguished breast cancer surgeon who works in close collaboration with the giant Avon cosmetics and personal care products company. Candidly, she claims no expertise for scientific qualifications on the causes and prevention of breast cancer. Nevertheless, in her September 5, 2009 posting, she challenges explicit evidence on the carcinogenicity and hormonal toxicity of ingredients in Avon cosmetics and personal care products, as detailed in my December 18, 2008 e-mail to her.

The great majority of carcinogens, including those in Avon products, have been identified in standard feeding tests in mice and rats by the federal National Toxicology Program (NTP). The results of these tests have been published by the NTP and accepted by the independent scientific community, and federal regulatory agencies, besides by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

The scientific evidence on toxic hormonal effects of ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products is based on laboratory tests, and also tests on pregnant rodents. The validity of these tests has also been recognized by Breast Cancer Action, besides other breast cancer activist groups nationwide.

Reflecting this undeniable evidence, it is anticipated that the National Cancer Institute, under its new director, Dr. John Niederhuber, will terminate its prior partnership with the Love/Avon initiative.

Samuel S. Epstein, M.D. is professor emeritus of Environmental and Occupational Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health; Chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition; The Albert Schweitzer Golden Grand Medalist for International Contributions to Cancer Prevention; and author of over 200 scientific articles and 15 books on the causes and prevention of cancer, including the groundbreaking The Politics of Cancer (1979), and Toxic Beauty (2009).