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The age-adjusted incidence rate of breast cancer has increased for Israeli women. Our aim was to explore the hypothesis that occupational exposures are important risk factors, taking into consideration main known risk factors.The study population included 326 breast cancer cases from one hospital in the center of the country and 413 women without known diagnosis of cancer. Every participant was interviewed using a structured questionnaire.We found that working in textile and clothing and in various industries, OR (95% confidence interval), 1.8 (1.1-3.0), 4.3 (2.0—9.3) respectively, and exposure to ionizing radiation OR 5.3 (2.4—14.1) as well as age and having a family history of breast cancer significantly increased the risk of developing breast cancer. Administrative work, adherence to high fiber diet and low salt diet significantly lowered the risk of breast cancer.Our study supported the assumption that occupational exposure may contribute to the etiology of breast cancer. Am. J. Ind. Med. 49:1021-1030, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.