Published: | Updated: October 23, 2017

Definition - What does Carcinogen mean?

A carcinogen is a substance or agent that is directly responsible for causing cancer. These substances cause changes in a cell's DNA, either directly or indirectly. Carcinogens have varying levels of cancer-causing potential and not all who are exposed to carcinogens will get cancer.

Safeopedia explains Carcinogen

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are over 400 documented agents that are classified as carcinogenic. The most well known of these, tobacco, is known to cause lung cancer. Many workers come into daily contact with carcinogens. These agents include asbestos, chromium, nickel compound and arsenic. Such carcinogens may be absorbed through the skin or inhaled. It is important that all who work in industries where one may come into contact with such agents utilize appropriate safety equipment and PPE at all times.

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