TECH
26/10/2015 10:28 GMT | Updated 26/10/2015 11:59 GMT

World Health Organisation Adds Bacon And Sausages To Deadly List Of Carcinogens That Includes Asbestos, HIV And Tobacco

The World Health Organisation has added processed meats such as bacon and sausages to a deadly list of substances that are carcinogenic to humans.

What this essentially means is that your morning bacon bap now joins other cancer-causing chemicals including asbestos and Human immunodeficiency virus type 1.

So, does this mean you'll have to say goodbye to bacon forever? Well, not necessarily.

The type and extent of exposure to carcinogenic substances often influences the risk of cancer.

So how does bacon cause cancer?

Processed meats such as bacon generate N-nitroso compounds in the gut, which can damage the gut lining.

Due to the damage caused, other cells in the bowel lining need to multiply in order for the region to heal.

However, during this extra replication there is a higher chance of cells developing errors, Cancer Research UK states.

Professor Tim Key, Cancer Research UK's epidemiologist at the University of Oxford said: "This decision doesn't mean you need to stop eating any red and processed meat.

"But if you eat lots of it you may want to think about cutting down. You could try having fish for your dinner rather than sausages, or choosing to have a bean salad for lunch over a BLT.

For now, there is no way to quantify how many bacon baps equal smoking a pack of cigarettes a day and Cancer Research UK still maintains that the "biggest risk to your health is smoking."

Here is a rather helpful breakdown of how the risk of cancer from both tobacco and processed meat compares to each other:

carcinogens

How does bacon compare to other carcinogens on the list?

The easiest way to rank carcinogens is how many cancer cases they can be linked to.

Tobacco still tops the list, causing 19% of all cancers. That’s 64,500 cases per year in the UK. Here is how other deadly substances, also on the same list as bacon, compares.

Carcinogens