A look at other common cancer-causing substances


Hotdogs, bologna and other processed meats now rank alongside tobacco, alcohol and around 100 more substances on the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s list of Group 1 carcinogens.

In 2012, 14.1 million new cancer cases were diagnosed and 8.2 million cancer deaths were recorded, according to the IARC. Here’s a look at some of the other things we encounter in daily life that the Lyon, France-based agency has found can cause cancer.

ALCOHOL: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Toxicology Program lists consumption of alcoholic beverages as a known human carcinogen. According to its Report on Carcinogens, an estimated 3.5 percent of all cancer deaths in the U.S. in 2009 (about 19,500 deaths) were alcohol related. Another report found that people who consume about 3-and-a-half drinks per day have at least a two to three times greater risk of developing head and neck cancers than nondrinkers.

SMOKING: Tobacco smoke was added to the National Toxicology Program’s 9th report in 2000. The IARC links tobacco smoking with lung, bladder and lip cancers as well as stomach, liver and kidney cancers, among others. Tobacco kills around 6 million people each year, according to The World Health Organization.

SUNLAMPS: Exposure to sunlamps or sunbeds is known to be a human carcinogen based on sufficient evidence from studies in humans, according to the NTP. Studies show exposure to sunlamps or sunbeds increases the risk of malignant melanoma. In addition, the longer the exposure, the greater the risk, especially in individuals exposed before the age of 30, the NTP says.

AIR POLLUTION: Outdoor air pollution was added to the IARC’s list of carcinogens in 2013. The agency said there is sufficient evidence that exposure to outdoor air pollution causes lung cancer, and it also noted a positive association with an increased risk of bladder cancer. The agency said that in 2010, 223,000 deaths from lung cancer worldwide resulted from air pollution.



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