Friday, July 11, 2014

Cancer And Toxic Chemicals - The Link Between Cancer And Toxic Chemicals Revealed

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the U.S., number one being heart diseases. It is responsible for 1 in 4 deaths, which corresponds to 1,500 PER DAY! There are more than 100 different cancers, and many factors can increase its risk of developing such as genetics, occupation and living conditions. The most frequently diagnosed forms of cancer are lung, skin, breast, brain and prostate.

Cancer does not only cause pain and suffering to the victim and his family, it also costs the society and enormous amount of money. Based on 2010 statistics, the disease cost the U.S. $263.8 billion if we take into account the medical costs as well as the loss of productivity due to illness or premature death.

Even if some cancers are unfortunately caused by family history and there is not a lot one can do to prevent it, it is somewhat horrifying to know that more than 75% of cancer diagnosis could have been prevented! It has been known for a long time that exposure to high level of chemicals can cause cancer. But researches have recently shown that exposure to much lower levels of certain chemicals also significantly adds to the chances of developing cancer.

Environmental carcinogens are present in workplaces, homes, schools and consumer products. Their sources are very wide-ranging, therefore there are many ways our bodies can be exposed to potential carcinogens.

Pesticides: found in conventional agriculture, home and gardens, chlorine, disinfectants and wood (preservative).
Industrial chemicals, manufactures, petrochemicals plants and municipal waste facilities.
Consumer products: building materials, furniture, cleaning products, cosmetics and food packaging.
Pollution: automobile exhaust, coal-fired power plants and more.
Below are examples of common chemicals that may be linked to cancer. Some are known carcinogens, listed by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) while others are suspected to be carcinogens to human. They are what we call probable or possible carcinogens. However, you need to understand that being exposed to a known carcinogen does not mean that you will automatically develop cancer, while a "probable" carcinogen means that a given substance, with further study and research, may eventually turn out to be a known carcinogen.

Arsenic: found in building materials, water, fish and shellfish. It is linked to lung cancer, skin cancer, and urinary tract cancer. Arsenic is a known carcinogen.

Asbestos: used in insulation materials. It is linked to increased risk of lung and laryngeal cancer. Asbestos is a known carcinogen.

Benzene: used as a solvent in chemical and pharmaceutical industry, and is released by oil refineries. It linked to some types of leukemia and breast cancer. Benzene is a known carcinogen.

Bisphenol A (BPA) : one of the most widely produced chemicals in the world. It is used in hard plastics, food cans, drink cans, receipts, and dental sealants. BPA It is a hormone disruptor linked to breast and prostate cancer but is not classified as a known carcinogen for humans YET.

Chromium Hexavalen: If you've seen the movie Erin Brockovich, this one must ring a bell!. The biggest industrial source of chromium hexavalent compounds are coal-burning plants, but they are also used in the leather tanning process, dye and pigment manufactures, wood preservatives, chrome plating and allow production. It is linked to lung and nasal cancer. Chromium hexavalent compounds are known carcinogens.

Dioxins: are byproducts of processes involving bleach such as incineration, chemical manufacturing and paper bleaching. Some dioxins are known carcinogens while others are possible carcinogens.

Formaldehyde: can be found in a variety of building and home decoration products, in automobile exhaust and cigarette smoke. It is also used as a preservative in cosmetics and bath & body products as well as disinfectant. Formaldehyde is linked to leukemia and nasopharygeal cancer. It is a known human carcinogen.

Polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs) : used as flame retardants in furniture, computers, electronics, medical equipment, and mattresses. They are hormone disruptors linked to liver cancer in laboratory animals, but are not classified as carcinogens to humans YET.

Polycyclicaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) : are results of incomplete combustion of wood and fuel, coal, automobiles, diesel engines, and grilled meats. They are also found in coal tar and coal tar pitch. PAHs are probable or possible carcinogens.

Vinyl Chloride: used in the production of PVCs. It is linked to the development of liver cancer and brain cancer. Vinyl chloride is a known carcinogen.