Are Americans “bombarded with…dangerous exposures” to cancer-causing toxins, as a scary report from the President’s Cancer Panel contends? Of more than 80,000 chemicals on the US market--some found in products used by millions of people in daily life—only a few hundred have ever been tested for safety, warns the report, released in May. Yet these largely unregulated chemicals, including some linked to cancer risk, are now so ubiquitous in our environment that 300 contaminants have been detected in the umbilical cord blood of newborns, leading the authors to warn that babies are born “pre-polluted.”
Over a lifetime, 41 percent of Americans will develop cancer, and 21 percent will die from it. While the leading culprits include smoking, obesity, and sun exposure, a variety of common products—some of them quite surprising—can also be triggers, according to the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Here’s a guide to seven known or probable carcinogens:
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