After the announcement from the WHO regarding the risk of consuming processed meat and developing cancer, it has become an important issue to identify the deadly carcinogens of the everyday life.

First of all we should know what a carcinogen is. A carcinogen is any substance, radionuclide, or radiation that is an agent directly involved in causing cancer.

Some carcinogens have been identified for years now, such as asbestos, diesel exhaust fumes, radiation in various forms, nightshift work, tobacco and alcohol and the lately discovered – processed meat, it seems like the list is bigger.

Here are some examples:

Previous Infection caused by biological agents

Biological agents including Opisthorchis viverrini, hepatitis B and C, and various types of human papillomavirus are a major cause of cancer. Infectious diseases are estimated to cause well more than 20% of cancers in developing countries.


Trichloroethylene, an industrial solvent also used in consumer products. It was once widely used as an anesthetic and now it appears in contaminated groundwater. It causes kidney cancer and there are associations with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and liver cancer.

Silica Dust

Silica dust, crystalline, in the form of quartz or cristobalite, is widely-used in the construction foundry, tunneling and stone-cutting work. It causes lung cancer.

Shale Oils

Shale oils are mined and when processed may also present a range of risks as a fuel oil. It causes especially skin cancer.

Radon Gas

Naturally-occurring radon gas causes lung cancer. It is estimated that residential radon could cause up to 14% of all lung cancers. However, radon gas at dangerous levels may also be present in shops, offices and factories unless there is effective ventilation and sealing floors and walls.


Benzene is used as a solvent in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry and it is present in petrol, vehicle exhaust fumes, glues and adhesive products. The oil and gas industry may produce benzene during processing and it can pollute water supplies.

Aristolochic Acid

Aristolochic acid is found in the Birthwort plant and was long used in Chinese herbal medicine as well as cultivated as an ornamental plant. It causes upper urinary tract cancers.

Chromium VI

Chromium VI occurs naturally but when processed it is used in textile dyes, paints, inks and plastics as well as for tanning and metal finishing. It can enter air, water and soil. It causes lung, nasal and sinus cancers.


Beryllium occurs naturally and is mined for use in alloys, nuclear reactors and in micro-electronics. In the past, it was used in fluorescent lighting and radio valves – where occasional low level exposures could occur for those people repairing old equipment – as well as in dental prosthetics. Beryllium compounds are linked to lung cancers.

Sulphuric Acid Mists

Sulphuric acid mists are used in making fertilizers, in food manufacturing, batteries, copper smelting and pickling. They can cause lung cancer.

Careful from cans

Cans are lined with bisphenol-A (BPA). It’s an artificial estrogen. Once it invades your body, it wreaks havoc. It disrupts your natural hormone production. Studies show it may cause breast cancer.


Phthalates are chemicals used to make plastics easier to mold into shapes. They lower testosterone levels and increase estrogen levels…which may lead to breast or prostate cancer.

Careful from “cancer of the sea”

It seems strange but we should control the levels of mercury that the fish contains. This heavy metal is toxic to your nervous system, lungs, and kidneys…and causes tumors to grow in rats and mice

Antibacterial soap

Surely antibacterial soaps can kill bacteria but it may create resistant E. coli and salmonella bacteria. Animal studies show this chemical can cause liver cancer in mice.

It is impossible to avoid all the carcinogens around us. But there are easy steps you can take to help reduce your cancer risk. They might seem small to you, but altogether they can be a huge risk for cancer. You should also add antioxidants to your diet in order to balance the risk. A healthy option is prevention, so keep being careful with the “little details” to make sure a happy, healthy and long life.


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