Cancer in your home!

Is cancer hiding in your home? 28-nation study flags common drugs, chemicals

A staggering range of commonly used chemicals - from insecticides to plastic additives to some common medications - are likely to cause cancer even in very low amounts. This was the conclusion reached by a massive study involving 174 scientists from 28 countries -- including India -- who researched the chemical actions of these chemicals. The study says that it is possible the combined effect of many of these chemicals working simultaneously may further enhance the risk of cancers developing.

This is the first study of its kind that investigated cancer causing pathways of common chemicals otherwise not known to be carcinogenic, that is, cancer causing.

The researchers investigated 85 chemicals for their effect on 11 essential features that define cancer. Of them, 50 were found to have a low dose effect on cancer causing features, called 'hallmarks of cancer'. Another 13 had a threshold dose beyond which they started having cancer generating effects. Put together, these dangerous chemicals made up nearly three quarters (74%) of the chemicals studied. The remaining 22 chemicals were not found to have any known effects.
Some of the commonly used chemicals discovered to have cancer causing potential include various popular insecticides, fungicides, pesticides, additives to plastic, PVC and polycarbonate products like food containers and water bottles, biocides used in handwashes and cosmetics, some commonly used drugs like phenobarbital and acetaminophen, flame retardants used in paints, construction material, aircrafts, etc., and stain repellants used in fabrics and carpets.