Home Health 13 common cancer-causing daily household products

13 common cancer-causing daily household products


Cancer related diseases are probably the most dreaded and most expensive if not difficult to treat in the current times.

People are left out wondering what exactly is safe or what’s not in terms of what we come in contact with let alone what we consume.

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One can be shocked at the number of the products with carcinogenic that might just lead to the variety of cancers.

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has separated the list in terms of “mixture” and “agents”.

Processed meat

Meat that has been cured or treated in some way for preservation or taste with inclusion of sausage. Bacon was ranked by the World Health Organization (WHO) to be as dangerous as tobacco in 2015 with specific link to bowel cancer.

Examples of processed meat are hotdogs, bacon, sausage, canned meat and corned beef.

Wood dust

Going by this, carpenters, wood millers and cabinet makers are in danger of nasal cancer. Depending on settings, many people come in contact with wood dust, and to reduce the risk, such dusts should be avoided.

Boot and shoes manufacture and repair

Leather dust and benzene and other solvents have suspected carcinogens. The exposure may vary depending on the duration of exposure.

Secondhand smoke

Commonly known as passive smoking, a non-smoker risks getting lung cancer same way a passive smoker does. In major cities, smoking zone are created to decrease smoking without cigarette.

Natural occurring aflatoxins

These are toxins that occur from certain species of fungi, they are among the most carcinogenic substances known and are linked to liver cancer risks.

It is available in common foods such as maize, soybeans and nuts.

Indoor emissions from household combustion

Coal is a well known carcinogen in the public. It posses grave risks if one is exposed to such as breathing coal burned the old fashion way such as ‘jikos’. Most Kenyan households make use of such jiko.

Diesel exhaust

People stand at risk when exposed to exhaust fumes produced by diesel engine internal combustion especially faulty diesel engine vehicles. With mass traffic congestion, we are all in trouble over this.

Mineral oils

Mineral oils for those untreated or mildly treated are classified under group1 carcinogens to humans while highly treated mineral oils are under group3.

The latter is not suspected to be carcinogenic, because of insufficient research, it cannot be classified as harmless either.

Rubber industry

It is harvested from certain trees inform of latex. Studies show that workers in the rubber industry are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer such as bladder cancer, lung cancer and also leukemia.

Exposure to strong inorganic acids containing sulfuric acid

These are examples of aerosols formed by condensation of sulfuric acid vapor that is highly corrosive and risks human contraction with lung cancer.

Alcohol beverages

Alcohol consumption has been linked to breast, colorectal and liver cancer.

Other types of cancers, according to IARC, associated with alcohol consumption include pharynx, esophagus, oral cavity, and larynx cancer.

Contraceptives (those containing both oestrogens and progesterone)

Researchers aren’t sure if the link is due to the estrogen or progesterone. Some research hints it might be caused by high-dose estrogen, but women in studies who took the progesterone-only shot Depo-Provera have also been found to have higher rates of breast cancer.

Dyes metabolized to Benzedrine

The list is not full, however most products or foods we are currently exposed with carcinogens are highly risky to our health. We should all be on the lookout for our surrounding.

By George Ogallo

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