Cancer-causing daily items: 7 everyday things in your house that are carcinogenic | Health - Hindustan Times
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Cancer-causing daily items: 7 everyday things in your house that are carcinogenic

By, New Delhi
Apr 19, 2024 11:09 AM IST

From plastic containers to non-stick cookware, there are certain household items that are silently putting you at risk of cancer. All you want to know.

From the air we breathe, the food we eat to common household items, our toxin exposure has been on rise for the past many decades and continues to affect several aspects of our health. Apart from lifestyle factors like unhealthy diet and lack of exercise, environmental factors too are emerging as the leading cause of cancer in modern world. While it's not possible to completely eliminate exposure to toxins in many cases, one can avoid them and safeguard their health by making mindful choices. (Also read
Breast cancer to claim one million lives a year by 2040: Lancet commission)

Carcinogenic household items: Benzene, asbestos, vinyl chloride, radon, arsenic, and trichloroethylene are examples of toxic substances that can increase the risk of cancer when people are exposed to them.(Freepik)
Carcinogenic household items: Benzene, asbestos, vinyl chloride, radon, arsenic, and trichloroethylene are examples of toxic substances that can increase the risk of cancer when people are exposed to them.(Freepik)

To begin with, one must pay attention to exposure of carcinogens from many household items we use. Non-stick cookware, plastic containers, household cleaners to candles, one may inadvertently be raising their cancer risk by overusing these items without a second thought.

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Benzene, asbestos, vinyl chloride, radon, arsenic, and trichloroethylene are examples of toxic substances that can increase the risk of cancer when people are exposed to them.

"In the hustle and bustle of daily life, we often overlook the potential hazards lurking within the comfort of our own homes. While we strive to create safe and welcoming environments for ourselves and our loved ones, there are certain everyday items that may inadvertently pose a risk to our health, including an increased likelihood of cancer," says Dr Kanav Kumar, a Surgical Oncologist at the Punyashlok Ahilyadevi Holkar, Head and Neck Cancer Institute of India, Mumbai in an interview with HT Digital.

Top household items that can cause cancer

Dr Kumar sheds light on seven such items and how we can mitigate their potential dangers.

1. Non-stick cookware: Teflon-coated pans may make cooking and cleaning a breeze, but they can release harmful perfluorinated chemicals when heated at high temperatures. Choose ceramic or cast-iron cookware as safer alternatives.

2. Candles: There can be a price for the calming atmosphere they offer. Burning candles releases chemicals including toluene and benzene, which have been connected to cancer. To reduce exposure, choose natural substitutes like soy candles or beeswax candles

3. Paints and solvents: Some paints, varnishes, and solvents contain chemicals such as benzene, formaldehyde, and toluene, which have been linked to cancer with prolonged exposure.

4. Plastic containers: Plastic food storage containers may contain bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates, both of which are known carcinogens. Opt for glass or stainless-steel containers to store and reheat food safely.

5. Household cleaners: Many conventional cleaning products contain carcinogenic chemicals like formaldehyde, ammonia, and chlorine bleach. Look for eco-friendly, non-toxic alternatives or make your own cleaning solutions using simple ingredients like vinegar and baking soda.

6. Pesticides: While they may keep pests at bay, pesticides can also pose a threat to human health. Exposure to these chemicals has been linked to various cancers, including leukaemia and lymphoma. Consider natural pest control methods or consult with professionals trained in integrated pest management.

7. Electromagnetic radiation: Electromagnetic radiation sources abound in our houses, from electronics to Wi-Fi routers. There may be a connection between exposure and cancer, although studies on the long-term effects of exposure are ongoing. Reduce exposure by putting electronics away from sleeping areas and turning them off when not in use.

By being mindful of these everyday items and making conscious choices to minimise exposure, we can create healthier living environments for ourselves and our families. Remember, small changes can make a big difference in reducing our risk of cancer and promoting overall well-being.

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