Many of the substances we come across in our daily lives are not dangerous on their own. However, an international team of scientists recently revealed that combining several common chemicals can actually be hazardous enough to cause cancer.
Previous studies on everyday chemicals may have underestimated their cancer-triggering effects, since the risks associated with combining such chemicals was not considered.
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in clinical research, read on to learn more about recent findings regarding the dangers of mixing common household chemicals.
The Clinical Research Performed on Chemical Mixtures
The study, which documented the clinical research performed by 174 scientists from 28 countries, was published on July 23rd in the Oxford medical journal Carcinogenesis. The researchers studied the effects that small amounts of 85 common chemicals (which are considered to be non-cancerous) can have on humans.
With the research from several cancer databases, experts were able to use models that predict cancer development, to compare how certain chemicals react in the human body to 11 cancer “hallmarks.” Professionals holding a clinical research diploma know that cancer hallmarks are cellular and genetic patterns that link to the early development of cancer tumors.
Results of the study proved that even at low doses, 50 of the 85 chemicals were linked to more than one of these cancer hallmarks.
It is important to understand that many factors must be considered before a study similar to this one can reach a final conclusion. This is because the dangers associated with most chemicals are dependent on a number of things, such as the volume of each chemical, the frequency and duration of a person’s exposure to them, and the age of the person exposed.
Which Common Chemicals were Tested During the Research?
Some of the chemicals that were tested during the study include:
- bisphenol A (BPA),used in a wide variety of plastic products and on paper cashier receipts
- rotenone, a common chemical used to kill insects
- triclosan, an antibacterial compound used in soaps, hand sanitizers, and cosmetics
- titanium dioxide, used in sunscreen
- acrylamide, which is found in potato chips and french fries
The scientists that conducted the study stated that it was meant to highlight gaps in our knowledge, and help us understand how certain types of cancers are influenced by our environment. Additionally, they wanted to create a research plan that will be carried out over the next few years. Much more research will be required to further investigate early exposure to chemicals, and to understand how low doses of combined chemicals can increase cancer risks.
In a statement, the study’s lead author and senior scientist, William Goodson III said “Since so many chemicals that are unavoidable in the environment can produce low dose effects that are directly related to carcinogenesis, the way we’ve been testing chemicals (one at a time) is really quite out of date.”