What’s a carcinogen?: Carcinogens are factors that increase the risk of cancer. Cancer happens when DNA changes and the mutated cells do not stop multiplying, creating tumor(s).

This list is from American Cancer Society. I’m going to explain where these substances are found.

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/general-info/known-and-probable-human-carcinogens.html  

Known human carcinogens

International Agency for Research on Cancer
Group 1: Carcinogenic to humans

  • Acetaldehyde (from consuming alcoholic beverages)
  • Acheson process, occupational exposure associated with
  • Acid mists, strong inorganic
  • Aflatoxins (mycotoxin made from molds, made when decaying food and plants decompose in moist and warm areas; sometimes found in peanuts, corn, milk, cheese, nuts, grains, soybeans, figs, dried spices, and cottonseed oil)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Aluminum production
  • 4-Aminobiphenyl (found in tobacco smoke)
  • Areca nut (aka Betel nut; seed of a palm tree, commonly chewed in Pacific islands, psychoactive substance)
  • Aristolochic acid (and plants containing it) (Herbs Aristolochia, Bragantia, Asarum, Bragantia, Clematis, Cocculus, Diploclisia, Menispermum, Mu Tong, Sinomenium, Saussurea, Stephania, Vladimiria)
  • Arsenic and inorganic arsenic compounds (arsenic-based pesticides, naturally occurrring in water and soil, brussel sprouts, dark-meat fish, rice, poultry fed arsenic-based drugs, beer and wine)
  • Asbestos (all forms) and mineral substances (such as talc or vermiculite) that contain asbestos (insulation, fireproofing, textiles, caulk, taping compounds, gaskets, tiles, roofing, wallboard, friction materials; talc found in cosmetics and baby powder)
  • Auramine production
  • Azathioprine (aka Imuran/Azasan, immunosuppressive drug for rheumatoic arthritis, Crohn’s disease, Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, ulcerative colitis, and to prevent organ rejection after transplant)
  • Benzene (volcano eruptions, forest fires, paint, varnish removers, industrial solvents, gasoline, fuels, glues, furniture wax, detergents, inks, adhesives, rubbers, degreasing formulations, car exhaust, burning coal and oil, painting, dry cleaning)
  • Benzidine and dyes metabolized to benzidine
  • Benzo[a]pyrene
  • Beryllium and beryllium compounds
  • Betel quid, with or without tobacco (vine that’s chewed)
  • Bis(chloromethyl)ether and chloromethyl methyl ether (technical-grade)
  • Busulfan (aka Busulfex/Myleran, Chemotherapy drug that treats leukemia and prepares body for stem cell transplant)
  • 1,3-Butadiene
  • Cadmium and cadmium compounds (cigarettes or second-hand smoke, shellfish, liver, kidney meats, grain cereals, potatoes, contaminated water)
  • Chlorambucil (aka Leukeran, chemotherapy drug to treat leukemia and lymphoma)
  • Chlornaphazine (nitrogen mustard, discontinued drug to treat polycythemia and Hodgkin’s disease)
  • Chromium (VI) compounds
  • Clonorchis sinensis (infection with), also known as the Chinese liver fluke
  • Coal, indoor emissions from household combustion
  • Coal gasification
  • Coal-tar distillation
  • Coal-tar pitch
  • Coke production
  • Cyclophosphamide (aka Cytoxan/Neosar, immunosuppressive and chemotherapy drug to treat leukemia, lymphomas and nephrotic syndrome)
  • Cyclosporine (aka Neoral/Sandimmune/Gengraf, immunosuppressive drug to prevent organ rejection after transplant, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and chronic dry eye)
  • 1,2-Dichloropropane
  • Diethylstilbestrol (estrogen medication mostly no longer used)
  • Engine exhaust, diesel
  • Epstein-Barr virus (infection with) (virus causes mono)
  • Erionite (mineral found in volcanic ash altered by weathering and ground water)
  • Estrogen postmenopausal therapy
  • Estrogen-progestogen postmenopausal therapy (combined)
  • Estrogen-progestogen oral contraceptives (combined) (Note: There is also convincing evidence in humans that these agents confer a protective effect against cancer in the endometrium and ovary)
  • Ethanol in alcoholic beverages
  • Ethylene oxide (used to sterilize medical and pharmaceutical products; used as a fumigant in some agricultural products)
  • Etoposide (aka Etopophos/Toposar, chemotherapy drug for testicular cancer, lung cancer, lymphomas, nonlyphocytic leukemia)
  • Etoposide in combination with cisplatin and bleomycin
  • Fission products, including strontium-90 (nuclear reactors and explosion of nuclear weapons)
  • Fluoro-edenite fibrous amphibole (a mineral in volcanic products)
  • Formaldehyde (plywood, glues, adhesives, perm-press fabrics, fungicide, germicide, disinfectant, preservative in mortuaries, car emissions, unvented fuel-burning appliances)
  • Haematite mining (underground)
  • Helicobacter pylori (infection with) (gut bacteria that causes peptic ulcers)
  • Hepatitis B virus (chronic infection with)
  • Hepatitis C virus (chronic infection with)
  • Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) (infection with)
  • Human papilloma virus (HPV) types 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59 (infection with) (Note: The HPV types that have been classified as carcinogenic to humans can differ by an order of magnitude in risk for cervical cancer) (sexually transmitted infection)
  • Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-1) (infection with)
  • Ionizing radiation (all types) (radon,  X-rays, nuclear medicine, cosmic radiation; sterilizes cosmetics, medical supplies and for shrink-wrap packaging, smoke detectors that use Americium-241, tobacco products, natural gas, phosphate fertilizers)
  • Iron and steel founding (workplace exposure)
  • Isopropyl alcohol manufacture using strong acids
  • Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV), also known as human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) (infection with)
  • Leather dust
  • Lindane (anti-parasite topical medication for scabies, head lice, and crab lice)
  • Magenta production
  • Melphalan (aka Evomela, chemotherapy drug for multiple myeloma and ovarian cancer)
  • Methoxsalen (8-methoxypsoralen) plus ultraviolet A radiation, also known as PUVA (photodynamic therapy for skin diseases like vitiligo and psoriasis)
  • 4,4′-Methylenebis(chloroaniline) (MOCA)
  • Mineral oils, untreated or mildly treated (automotive oils)
  • MOPP and other combined chemotherapy including alkylating agents
  • 2-Naphthylamine
  • Neutron radiation (nuclear fission or nuclear fusion)
  • Nickel compounds (nickel-plated coins, jewelry, and stainless steel cooking and utensils)
  • N’-Nitrosonornicotine (NNN) and 4-(N-Nitrosomethylamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK) (in tobacco products)
  • Opisthorchis viverrini (infection with), also known as the Southeast Asian liver fluke
  • Outdoor air pollution (and the particulate matter in it)
  • Painter (workplace exposure as a)
  • 3,4,5,3′,4′-Pentachlorobiphenyl (PCB-126)
  • 2,3,4,7,8-Pentachlorodibenzofuran
  • Phenacetin (and mixtures containing it) (banned fever-reducing, pain-relieving drug)
  • Phosphorus-32, as phosphate (used to identify malignant tumors and treat some cancers)
  • Plutonium (used as fuel in nuclear power plants and in making nuclear weapons)
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxin-like, with a Toxicity Equivalency Factor according to WHO (PCBs 77, 81, 105, 114, 118, 123, 126, 156, 157, 167, 169, 189) (in contaminated meats, fish, poultry; breathing contaminated air)
  • Processed meat (consumption of) (bacon, salami, sausages, hot dogs, deli meats)
  • Radioiodines, including iodine-131 (radioactive treatment for thyroid issues)
  • Radionuclides, alpha-particle-emitting or beta-particle emitting, internally deposited (Note: Specific radionuclides for which there is sufficient evidence for carcinogenicity to humans are also listed individually as Group 1 agents) (for medical imaging & in contaminated ground water)
  • Radium-224 and its decay products
  • Radium-226 and its decay products
  • Radium-228 and its decay products
  • Radon-222 and its decay products (given off by soil or rock, enters basement rooms)
  • Rubber manufacturing industry
  • Salted fish (Chinese-style)
  • Schistosoma haematobium (infection with) (urinary blood fluke)
  • Semustine (methyl-CCNU) (chemotherapy drug)
  • Shale oils (oil from shale rocks obtained by fracking)
  • Silica dust, crystalline, in the form of quartz or cristobalite
  • Solar radiation (from the sun)
  • Soot (as found in workplace exposure of chimney sweeps)
  • Sulfur mustard (mustard gas)
  • Tamoxifen (Note: There is also conclusive evidence that tamoxifen reduces the risk of contralateral breast cancer in breast cancer patients) (estrogen modulator drug to treat and prevent breast cancer)
  • 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-para-dioxin
  • Thiotepa (chemotherapy drug to treat cancers)
  • Thorium-232 and its decay products
  • Tobacco, smokeless
  • Tobacco smoke, secondhand
  • Tobacco smoking
  • ortho-Toluidine
  • Treosulfan (substance being studied in treatment of cancer)
  • Trichloroethylene (industrial solvent)
  • Ultraviolet (UV) radiation, including UVA, UVB, and UVC rays (sunlight)
  • Ultraviolet-emitting tanning devices
  • Vinyl chloride (used to make PVC used to make plastic products)
  • Wood dust
  • X- and Gamma-radiation

Probable carcinogens

International Agency for Research on Cancer
Group 2A: Probably carcinogenic to humans

  • Acrylamide (forms in some starchy foods during high-temperature cooking like frying, roasting and baking)
  • Adriamycin (doxorubicin) (chemotherapy drug)
  • Androgenic (anabolic) steroids (synthetic variants of male sex hormone testosterone)
  • Art glass, glass containers, and press ware (manufacture of)
  • Azacitidine (aka vidaza, chemotherapy drug to treat myelodysplastic syndrome)
  • Biomass fuel (primarily wood), emissions from household combustion
  • Bischloroethyl nitrosourea (BCNU), also known as carmustine (aka Bicnu/Gliadel Wafer, chemotherapy drug to treat cancer)
  • Captafol (fungicide for plants)
  • Carbon electrode manufacture
  • Chloral
  • Chloral hydrate (sedative and hypnotic drug)
  • Chloramphenicol (antibiotic)
  • alpha-Chlorinated toluenes (benzal chloride, benzotrichloride, benzyl chloride) and benzoyl chloride (combined exposures)
  • 1-(2-Chloroethyl)-3-cyclohexyl-1-nitrosourea (CCNU) (aka Lomustine/Gleostine, chemotherapy drug)
  • 4-Chloro-ortho-toluidine
  • Chlorozotocin (used for cancer therapy)
  • Cisplatin (chemotherapy cancer drug)
  • Cobalt metal with tungsten carbide
  • Creosotes (used as preservatives or antiseptics)
  • Cyclopenta[cd]pyrene
  • DDT (4,4′-Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) (insecticide)
  • Diazinon (insecticide)
  • Dibenz[a,j]acridine
  • Dibenz[a,h]anthracene
  • Dibenzo[a,l]pyrene
  • Dichloromethane (methylene chloride) (used as a solvent)
  • Diethyl sulfate
  • Dimethylcarbamoyl chloride
  • 1,2-Dimethylhydrazine
  • Dimethyl sulfate
  • Epichlorohydrin
  • Ethyl carbamate (urethane)
  • Ethylene dibromide (soil fumigant, insecticide, and nematocide)
  • N-Ethyl-N-nitrosourea
  • Frying, emissions from high-temperature
  • Glycidol
  • Glyphosate
  • Hairdresser or barber (workplace exposure as)
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) type 68 (infection with)
  • Indium phosphide (binary semiconductor)
  • IQ (2-Amino-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoline)
  • Lead compounds, inorganic (older paint, dust, soil, drinking water, air, folk medicine, cosmetics, children’s jewelry, toys, lead-glazed ceramics/china/leaded crystal, imported candies or foods, mini-blinds, some inks)
  • Malaria (caused by infection with Plasmodium falciparum)
  • Malathion (pesticide)
  • Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCV)
  • 5-Methoxypsoralen (found in some suntan preparations)
  • Methyl methanesulfonate
  • N-Methyl-N´-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG)
  • N-Methyl-N-nitrosourea
  • Nitrate or nitrite (ingested) under conditions that result in endogenous nitrosation (fertilizers, preservatives, processed meat, colorants in meats)
  • 6-Nitrochrysene
  • Nitrogen mustard
  • 1-Nitropyrene (emitted in diesel engine)
  • N-Nitrosodiethylamine (found in tobacco smoke)
  • N-Nitrosodimethylamine
  • 2-Nitrotoluene
  • Non-arsenical insecticides (workplace exposures in spraying and application of)
  • Petroleum refining (workplace exposures in)
  • Pioglitazone (aka Actos, anti-Diabetic medication)
  • Polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs) (found in plastics)
  • Procarbazine hydrochloride (aka Matulane, chemotherapy drug)
  • 1,3-Propane sultone
  • Red meat (consumption of) (beef, lamb, pork, veal, goat)
  • Shiftwork that involves circadian disruption
  • Silicon carbide whiskers
  • Styrene-7,8-oxide
  • Teniposide (chemotherapy drug for leukemia)
  • Tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene) (dry cleaning)
  • Tetrafluoroethylene
  • Trichloroethylene (industrial solvent)
  • 1,2,3-Trichloropropane
  • Tris(2,3-dibromopropyl) phosphate (flame retardant)
  • Very hot beverages (above 65 degrees Celsius)
  • Vinyl bromide (Note: For practical purposes, vinyl bromide should be considered to act similarly to the human carcinogen vinyl chloride.)
  • Vinyl fluoride (Note: For practical purposes, vinyl fluoride should be considered to act similarly to the human carcinogen vinyl chloride.)

 

This list is from American Cancer. Society https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/general-info/known-and-probable-human-carcinogens.html 

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