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Toxic Substances Known to Cause Cancer

Toxic Substances Known to Cause Cancer


It seems as though as technology advances, we find more and more toxic substances that are known to cause cancer. Many of these substances, such as cigarettes, are well known, but there are other dangerous substances that many people are unaware of.

Carcinogens and Asbestos

Carcinogens, which are substances that promote cancer, can be found in a variety of products. Most of these products are marked accordingly, and handled with care to prevent exposure to the contaminants. Asbestos is one such substance. Asbestos is a mineral which occurs naturally, yet is highly toxic to people. Unfortunately, for many years asbestos was used extensively in manufacturing, and workers were unaware of its dangers. Even today, there are still buildings that contain asbestos, and the removal of this toxic substance must be handled with care, as inhalation of the asbestos fibers has been proven to cause mesothelioma cancer.

Semi-Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Other toxic substances known to cause cancer include volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds, often referred to as VOCs. Sadly, VOCs can be found in a number of products like adhesives, paints and varnishes, and even your tap water. Many of these VOCs, such as toluene, xylene, and benzene have been proven to be a known contributor to cancer, as well as dangerous to the body's central nervous system.


In recent years, the use of certain pesticides has come under a great deal of scrutiny, as studies have shown that some pesticides are toxic substances known to cause cancer. It is important to realize that not all pesticides are cancer causing, in fact the highest concern comes from organochlorine pesticides. Some organochlorine pesticides include malathion, parathion, and diazinon.


When many people hear the word formaldehyde, they immediately think of embalming the deceased, but in fact, there are countless products on the market that contain formaldehyde. Many particleboard products like furniture, adhesives and glues, and clothing that are made to be wrinkle resistant all contain formaldehyde, which is a toxic substance known to cause cancer. In addition to being a known carcinogen, formaldehyde also causes severe respiratory issues and allergic reactions.


Arsenic is also one of the toxic substances known to cause cancer, one that many people don't often think they will find in their everyday lives. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth as arsenic can be found in many wood products that have been treated with chromated copper arsenate, such as those wood products that are often found in playground accessories, deck materials, and fencing.

By learning about toxic substances that cause cancer, and learning how to avoid your exposure to them, you have a better chance at remaining cancer-free. Sadly, this is difficult in our modern world, where so many products contain these dangerous materials. However, limiting your exposure even a little bit greatly increases your chances of not being affected by these dangerous carcinogens.


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