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Last updated: September 3, 2019

What Does Carcinogenic Mean?

A carcinogenic is any agent, substance, or form of radiation that is has been identified as a direct cause of cancer. The carcinogen often does this by damaging the genome or interrupting the normal cell metabolic process. A carcinogen may also cause damage to the DNA within a cell, thus interfering with normal biological processes. This results in malignant cell division which can, in turn, lead to the development of a tumour.

Safeopedia Explains Carcinogenic

Carcinogens may occur naturally. Examples of natural carcinogens are Aflatoxin B1, a product of the fungus Aspergillis flavus, which can grow on grains, nuts and peanut butter. There are also viruses, such as Hepatitis B and human papilloma virus, which can be cancer causing. Some radioactive substances are carcinogens due to their radiation by way of gamma rays and alpha particles. Other carcinogens include asbestos, a number of dioxins and tobacco smoke.


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