“Does this chemical cause cancer?” is one of the first questions I get from a mom or dad who has just learned that, unbeknownst to them, a toxic chemical from an industrial source has been in their family’s air or water supply for years.
I always caution that, even if the chemical(s) just discovered in their home or neighborhood can cause cancer, it does not mean that they will. In fact, in most contaminated homes and neighborhoods, statistics are on our side: the great majority of residents will not contract cancer as a result of exposure. The important thing is to understand and respect the dangers of these chemicals, and, depending on their toxicity, get your family out of harm’s way…..by, for example, supplying your home with bottled water to avoid, as much as possible, contact with the contaminated groundwater entering the home via your family’s kitchen tap, or installing a “vapor mitigation system” on your house to prevent contaminated gasses from intruding inside where your family will breathe them.
For this reason, it is important to be informed. This link from the American Cancer Society tells us what our most respected health agencies have concluded about the dangers of many chemicals, and specifically whether they are “known” or “suspected” to cause cancer in humans (given significant exposure over a long enough period of time). https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/general-info/known-and-probable-human-carcinogens.html
The carcinogenic chemicals which, in my experience, are most often identified with industrial sources are:
·PCE (perchloroethylene or tetrachloroethylene)
The American Cancer Society’s full list of “known” and “probable” carcinogens is unfortunately long, as you will see if you follow their link above. It is worth the time for all of us to know what these dangerous chemicals are and to take all steps we reasonably can to rid them from our environment.