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Carcinogen is better known as substances capable of causing cancer in living tissue. From looking at our lecture notes, we learn that the cancer rate increased tremendously from 1900 to 1990.People can inherit cancer genetically or from natural exposure. It is said and believed that substances that we use daily can cause us to be exposed to cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, environmental factors can include a wide range of exposures, such as nutrition, medical treatments, workplace exposure, pollution, household exposures, and naturally occurring exposures. Scientists often experiment on animals and cell cultures to determine what may cause different types of cancers. I do not feel as though new chemicals undergo proper or sufficient testing before it is marketed.
One such chemical that might unfortunately go overlooked is arsenic. Arsenic in drinking water can cause liver, bladder, lung, skin, and kidney cancer. Yet, the most frightening reality to me is how many chemicals and “toxins” currently lace our foods for the sake of stretching a corporate dollar by extending shelf life as long as they can. An infamous example of a chemical added to our food that warrants greater alarm is Bromated Vegetable oil, aka “BVO.” Bromated vegetable oil is a common additive to many bottled sodas, sports drinks, and many citrus-flavored drinks. Unfortunately, BVO is known for increasing cholesterol levels, and repeated consumption can also wreak major damage to one’s liver and kidneys.
Another particular group of chemicals that truly ought to be left off the dinner plate is Benzoate Preservatives, also informally known as, “BHT, BHA, TBHQ.” These chemicals have definite links to hormonal imbalance, urticaria, increased risk of cancer, hyperactivity, and asthma. You may find these chemicals “lying in wait” in your favorite cereals, gum varieties, nut mixes, certain brands of butter, and even packages of raw meat. Aflaxtoxins, Aminobiphenyl, Asbestos, and Azathiorprine are to name a few other dangerous inorganic substances used in the most commonplace everyday products that cause cancer. These products make up an ever-growing list, and include names like Johnson and Johnson baby powder, Ajax, Lysol, Oscar Mayer beef franks, and Crest toothpaste etc. As the studies demonstrate, carcinogens are no laughing matter.
I find it both disheartening as well as sickening just how many chemicals are introduced into our environment without thorough scientific testing taking place. Cancer is a disease that affects so many families, and, rather tragically, it is often diagnosed in individuals far too late for treatment. I have a close friend who I consider family; her sister who was 15 at the time was diagnosed with Stage 4 brain cancer. If only we would stop and be more concerned with the chemicals we use on the daily basis. Carcinogens are a real danger to one’s health. As it accumulates in the human body in large amounts, there is a high chance that cells will become damaged, resulting in the growth of cancer cells. The chemicals we ingest into our body through food consumption, and the chemicals we inhale via cleaning products are causing a lot of damage to us. You might not see it today or a few months from now but you will definitely see the consequences in the future.
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