A new study, published in the Journal “Reviews in Mutation Research” has shed light on some of the myths involving potential causes of cancer such as mobile phones, coffee, fluoridated water and artificial sweeteners.
The research study was carried out by Professor Brendan Stewart who is a cancer specialist at the University of New South Wales, Australia. Stewart analyzed numerous research reports and categorized various activities and chemical agents on their likelihood of causing cancer.
According to Stewart the research was carried out in order to give people some perspective on cancer risk, particularly in the case of low risk events that are often over-hyped in the media.
According to Stewart “[I am] not critical of the media or the investigators, but the very nature of the media in the community’s interest means that attention is often focused on these low levels of risk,”
“Our tool will help establish if the level of risk is high, say on a par with smoking, or unlikely such as using deodorants, artificial sweeteners, drinking coffee,” Stewart added.
Five risk bands were used to categorize each potential risk factor: proven carcinogens, likely carcinogens, inferred carcinogens, unknown carcinogens, and unlikely carcinogens.
Among the proven carcinogens were:
1) Tobacco smoking which was a proven cause of cancers of the mouth, throat, lungs, esophagus, stomach, and pancreas.
2) Alcohol consumption, which has been proven to increase the risk of cancers of the oral cavity, esophagus, liver and the breast.
3) Occupational exposure to various chemicals such as soot and tar, asbestos, radon, benzene and formaldehyde among others.
4) Deliberate exposure to the sun which increases skin cancer risk.
5) Passive smoking which increases lung cancer risk.
6) Drinking water contamination with arsenic.
Likely carcinogens included particles in air pollution, smoking marijuana, tanning beds and chemicals in processed meats.
Activities and chemicals unlikely to be carcinogenic, despite often being reported in the media as being so included:
1) Artificial sweetener consumption
2) Coffee consumption
3) Regular deodorant use
4) Drinking fluoridated water
5) Exposure to electromagnetic fields (such as cellphone towers, cellphones, wireless networks)
6) Breast implants
7) Amalgam dental fillings