Everyday chemicals could trigger cancer when mixed

Mixtures of common chemicals used in our environment may act in concert with each other in the human body to cause the development of cancer, suggests new research published this week in the journal Carcinogenesis.

Credit: Flickr/Julia P
Credit: Flickr/Julia P

The international consortium of researchers – including a New Zealander – identified 50 chemicals that were not thought to be carcinogenic on their own at low doses but were seen to trigger cancer-related processes in the body.

They suggest that these chemicals may be capable of acting together to cause cancer.

Dr Linda Gulliver, who worked on the study, told the Otago Daily Times that further research would reveal more information around ”which mixture of chemicals could be problematic, what do we find them in, how can we test them now, as chemical mixtures rather than individual chemicals, and what will that do to drive regulations”.

The research has been covered in New Zealand and global news. Examples include:

NZ City: Chemical mix may trigger cancer: report
Stuff.co.nz: Everyday chemicals could be giving you cancer, says international study
Otago Daily Times: Cancer link with combined chemicals
New Zealand Herald: Hidden cancer threat – the everyday chemicals around us
3 News: Report: Chemical mix may cause cancer
Radio New Zealand: Study examines common chemicals’ cancer risk
The Guardian: Exposure to mixture of common chemicals may trigger cancer, scientists find
The Daily Mail: 50 everyday chemicals that can mix to raise cancer risk
CTV News: Common chemicals, when combined, may trigger cancer: study
US News: Combination of ‘Safe’ Chemicals May Be Causing Some Cancers