We know that air pollution, for instance, is a carcinogen, but are there are other, everyday substances that may be putting ourselves at risk?
Laundry detergent, they say, contains a chemical called 1,4-dioxane, which has a 'threat level' of three out of five. "In 2011, an environmental group discovered 1,4-dioxane lurking in laundry detergent.
"The chemical isn't a proven cancer causer in humans, but it has triggered liver and nasal tumors in rats. Worse, you won't find 1,4-dioxane on labels because it's an impurity, not an ingredient, says Sonya Lunder, M.P.H., of the Environmental Working Group."
They advise looking at labels - anything with polyethylene, polyethylene glycol, PEG, polyoxyethylene, or words containing "oxynol" or "eth" may contain dioxane.
Another danger is the humble styrofoam cup although we're not so convinced. "Ban it from your body," they say "because of what it's made from: styrene, which may generate a chemical that can damage your DNA. Its "reasonably anticipated" to be a human carcinogen, a National Toxicology Program report notes."
Lastly - and this won't make the nutritionist happy - they cite brown rice as a potential hazard. "A Consumer Reports study found that some brands of brown rice contain more of this toxic metal than white does. Arsenic may disable your body's DNA repair system, so when cells are damaged, the DNA can't bounce back, making it vulnerable to cancer-causing mutations, says Michael Hansen, a Consumers Union senior scientist." They advise washing the rice thoroughly.
Junk food - especially fast food - has come under scrutiny after levels of heterocyclic amines, or HCAs found in flesh that has been fried, grilled or otherwise cooked at high temperature were found to be carcincogenic.
A HuffPost US blog by Anneli Rufus revealed that Kansas State University food-chemistry professor J. Scott Smith and his team looked at fully cooked bacon which "registered 1.1 ng/g, and rotisserie chicken meat registered 1.9 ng/g; both contained all five types of HCAs. The skin of the rotisserie chicken (the best part) had even higher HCA levels, a whopping 16.3 ng/g."
"Based on this research," Smith said, "HCA consumption can be reduced by not eating chicken skin," Smith said.
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