Carcinogen

Today I’m going to talk about: carcinogen

Carcinogen, any chemical, biological, or physical agent that can
potentially be a cause of cancer. The term is most commonly applied to
chemicals introduced into the environment by human activity. Researchers
label a substance a carcinogen if it causes a statistically significant
increase in some form of neoplasm, or anomalous cell growth, when applied
to a population of previously unexposed organisms. The modes of cancer
initiation are still little understood, however, and efforts to establish
the carcinogenic hazards of substances have arroused great controversy. The
question of the usefulness of laboratory tests on animals in assessing
human risks is particularly complex. The more recent development of short-
term tests using cell cultures of microorganisms, however, is considered a
major advance in carcinogen research.

Substances indicted as carcinogenic over the past few decades include
the pesticides DDT, Kepone, and EDB; the synthetic hormone DES; the
artificial sweetener cyclamate; asbestos; and a wide range of other
industrial and environmental substances. In addition, U.S. health officials
have identified the carcinogens in tobacco as tthe single most important
cause of cancer among Americans. The carcinogenic effects of various foods
are still under study.

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