What are carcinogens? The dictionary defines the term as a substance, chemical, or virus that can directly cause the growth of cancer cells in the body. Interestingly enough, some of the medications we use to treat cancer, are also classified as carcinogens.
Many types of cancer evolve from consuming a carcinogen or many different carcinogens, such as the chemicals in cigarette smoke. These carcinogens directly damage our DNA and cause mutations which affect the healthy growth and division of cells. Carcinogens cause inflammation within the cell, causing it to divide faster than usual, resulting in the development of cancerous tumors.
Genetic predisposition to cancer plays a significant role in our body’s susceptibility to carcinogens and their toxic effect. However, people with no family history of the disease are still at risk of developing cancer if they come in contact with carcinogens on a frequent basis. Here are eight not-so-known carcinogens that you may not be aware of, check through the list and reduce your exposure to these cancer-causing components.
1. Chemicals and Substances
Americans have access to over 100,000 different chemicals on the retail market, with a further 1,000 new products introduced to the market each year. With so many compounds contributing to our daily lives, it’s no wonder that cancer diagnoses continue to rise. Avoid all contact with possible and known carcinogens, including the following compounds;
• Vinyl chloride
Our skin is permeable, meaning that liquids can pass through the layers of our epidermis and into our bloodstream, where they buildup over time. Continuous exposure to harmful chemicals, such as benzene, may result in permanent damage to mitochondrial DNA – which in turn can lead to the development of cancer cells and various types of carcinoma.
If you work around hazardous chemicals, ensure that you always wear the necessary PPE (personal protective equipment.) PPE includes a long-sleeved jacket, breathing mask or respirator, gloves, and a hair net or cap.