Carcinogens can pose a high risk to your health. They are all around us, and we allow them to coexist with us without knowing the threat that they pose. Let us take a look at what carcinogens are and where we find them.
What are carcinogens?
A carcinogen is a substance responsible for causing cancer in animals as well as humans. Carcinogens can be found in workplace environments like industries and factories as well as in houses. Carcinogens can cause cancer by the alteration of cellular metabolism or by damaging DNA in the cells. They interfere with our biological processes and cause problems.
Many people develop cancer because of their genetic history, while others suffer because of environmental factors and exposure to carcinogens. Some carcinogens have no direct effect on the DNA; however, they may cause problems in other ways, such as increasing the chances of changes in the DNA.
What can increase your carcinogen exposure?
Are you exposed to any of the below?
1. Tobacco, which has high amounts of carcinogens
2. Infectious agents, ultraviolet light, or radon gas
3. Strong medication like radiation, chemotherapy, and drugs
4. Factories and industries
5. Household substances
Studies have found that several factors are responsible for a person being affected by carcinogens such as the duration of exposure, the intensity, and the immune system of the person.
Carcinogens at home
If you think that your home is free from carcinogens, think again. Your home can actually be one of the most dangerous places for your health. Many products that we use daily like hair dyes, cell phones, and cosmetics may contain carcinogens.
Cosmetics are widely used by almost everyone, but it may contain many cancer-causing substances. It is important to read the label and be aware of all the ingredients before buying cosmetics. Benzyl Acetate, Butylated Hyroxytoluene (BHT), Coal Tar Dyes, Diethanolamine (DEA), Formaldehyde, Hydroquinone, Talc etc. are just a few of the many carcinogens that are usually found in cosmetics.
Cell phones are used by adults and children. They give off radio-frequency waves, which are considered unsafe and may cause cancer. There has been increasing focus on the cancer-spreading aspect of cell phones and its effect on brain tumors.
Talcum powder is made of magnesium, oxygen, and silicon. Talc often contains asbestos, which is a carcinogen, it is considered dangerous.
Antiperspirants are widely used by men and women. However, they contain certain harmful chemicals that can get collected in the armpit area. These toxins may later lead to cell mutation.
Hair dyes have a lot of chemicals in them, some of which can be very harmful when it comes in contact with the skin. Though caution is advised, studies have also shown that while hair dyes may contain harmful substances, they are not solely responsible for causing cancer.
Lead is known to be a cancer-causing agent. It can be found in lead-acid batteries, cable coverings, paints, ammunition, ceramics, construction material, and in soldering. People are often exposed to these substances that can enter the body by breathing or swallowing.
Aspartame is an artificial sweetener that is commonly used in beverages and foods. There has been a lot of debates that aspartame can cause a number of health problems like cancer. And because it is commonly used in food, it is very difficult to avoid aspartame.
To be safe from carcinogens around your home, you can follow certain guidelines:
- Read labels of products before buying
- Do not buy the products that contain carcinogens
- Do not mix chemicals if you are inexperienced in handling them
- Always open chemical containers in well-ventilated areas
- Wash hands carefully after using hazardous products
You may not be able to eliminate all of the carcinogens from your surroundings, but you can definitely remove a significant amount of them. Awareness about carcinogens and willingness to search for safer alternatives can improve the quality of life for you and your loved ones.