Cancer affects millions of lives all over the world. Malignant tumors grow rapidly and can spread to other parts of the body (called “metastasis”) while benign tumors are usually localized to one area. As tumors grow in size, they can destroy the function of different body organs and systems.
The risks from personal exposure to carcinogens are constantly being studied in cancer research. Radon and cigarette smoke are only two of the substances typically linked to the development of certain cancers. You already knew about those: Here are six more important ones to be aware of.
Formaldehyde, also known as methanal, is used in a vast number of industrial applications and is found in an enormous number of industrial products. Formaldehyde is a volatile organic compound (VOC) and is “off-gassed” from a variety of construction materials, furnishings, and consumer products.
The three products that emit the highest concentrations are medium density fiberboard, hardwood plywood, and particle board. Carpets and memory foam also emit formaldehyde. In 2011, the US National Toxicology Program described formaldehyde as “known to be a human carcinogen”.
Owing to its widespread use, you might have a difficult time removing formaldehyde-emitting products from your home entirely, and this is a bigger problem ever before now that modern homes are much more “air sealed” than ever before– for insulation purposes.
However the USA and Europe have now limited the allowable emission of formaldehyde in products such as plywood. One thing that is advised is to maintain a supply of fresh air in the home. It’s also possible to obtain VOC-removing air purifiers.
2. Air Fresheners
Air fresheners contain a variety of chemicals, some of which can detrimentally affect a person’s health. The state of California actually lists common constituents of air fresheners as carcinogenic to humans, and certain constituents can actually produce dangerous secondary pollutants.
A study published in 2010 has linked air freshener use with the development of breast cancer. An alternative would be to use scented herbal and floral oils.
3. Certain Types Of Candles
When candles are burned, the wicks tend to emit trace amounts of chemicals. Also, many commercial candles are made using petroleum products for the wax. Astonishingly, lead has been utilized to keep wicks straight– causing increased concentrations of lead in indoor air, which is why using lead in candles was banned in the US.
Despite that, lead-wick candles still circulate in the world market. Inorganic lead has been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as probably carcinogenic while a 2007 study revealed an associated between organic lead and stomach cancer. Use all-natural candles such as soy or beeswax with cotton wicks instead.
4. Certain Types Of Art Supplies
This one is important as children use a lot of art supplies. Certain art supplies contain toxic substances that are unsuitable for children’s use. The Federal Hazardous Substances Act actually requires all art supplies to be labeled with potential health hazards.
In California, the Environmental Protection Agency strictly bans the use of Elmer’s Super Glue, Krazy Glue, and other art and craft materials in kindergarten until sixth grade. If you have children at home who like to do art, remember to buy non-toxic art materials. Also, use any solvent based products (i.e. glues, sharpies) in a well ventilated area.
A recent study in 2014 focused on the aluminum content of certain cosmetic products, namely deodorants or antiperspirants. Aluminum is not only dangerous to the environment but to human health as well.
When the aluminum in deodorants is absorbed by the body, it can deposit in breast tissue and can increase the risk for breast cancer. Baby powders can be a safer alternative to control odor and perspiration.
6. Plastic Shower Curtains
Shower curtains are typically made of plastic, and it has been studied that polyvinyl chloride (PVC) products emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs)– especially when hot. VOCs readily evaporate in high heat and when inhaled or absorbed by the body, can cause cancer.
In the shower, the high heat can cause VOCs to evaporate from plastic shower curtains. VOC absorption can cause damage to the liver, nervous, respiratory, and reproductive systems and cause a variety of cancers. Either use cloth or non-PVC curtains for your shower, or install the glass-door or solid-walled type of shower.
You can also check out 6 Tips That Can Help You Prevent Cancer