Chemicals found in everyday products have been found to cause breast cancer in laboratory rodents, suggesting that they may have a similar effect in humans, according to a new study published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Researchers discovered that chemical components in exhaust pipe fumes, as well as flame retardants, paint removers and disinfection byproducts in drinking water, among others, should be avoided. The paper also offers advice on how women can reduce their exposure to the 17 chemicals included in the study and minimize the impact on their health.

Ruthann Rudel, research director of the Silent Spring Institute and author of the study, commented that the research could be used as "a road map for breast cancer prevention," as it identifies chemicals that women are most commonly exposed to and can guide efforts to reduce exposure to chemicals linked to breast cancer.

Among the chemicals included on the list, benzene and butadiene are two of the most dangerous because most people are exposed to them on a daily basis from exhaust fumes, tobacco smoke and lawn equipment. Other chemicals that women are strongly advised to avoid are cleaning solvents like methylene chloride, chemicals in stain-resistant textiles and nonstick coatings and styrene, which is used to make Styrofoam.

Julia Brody, co-author of the study, noted that for a long time the link between breast cancer and toxic chemicals has remained out of the scope of scientists and research projects and added that reducing chemical exposure could save thousands of lives, Metro News reported.