According to a new report, researches gravely underestimated the correlation between carcinogenic chemicals in the environment and 6% of all cancers.
The report suggests that even in low doses, mixtures of toxic chemicals can work together to target a setoff hallmarks necessary for cancer to fester. It is paramount that regulators start taking this into account.
Researchers were able to show how mixtures of chemical can work together to overcome our bodies’ cancer defenses, even if no single chemical in the mix could lead to cancer on its own.
According to researchers, there are 10 key steps that are common to all cancers. These step include a cancer developing its own blood vessels and mechanisms for evading the immune system.
The report asserts that cancers do not need to get each step from the same chemical, the mixture chemicals is generally the key.
Researchers successfully identified 50 different chemicals that contributed to cancer at low doses, even if they don’t necessarily lead to cancer on their own.
Most other analysis focuses on whether a single chemical might cause cancer. Unfortunately researchers have never observed other chemicals that act at a lower level.
More than 170 researchers participated in this particular study. Overall, the study reviewed 85 difference chemicals.
Additionally, a mixture of 23 of those cancer-enabling chemicals are present in detectable levels in our bodies. This discovery was based on a review of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Biomonitoring Program. According to researchers this means that chemicals could be interacting within the human body, even if the body is not exposed to each chemical at the same time.
This report completely changes the way researchers looked at chemicals in the environment. If low-dose chemical interactions can cause cancer, the definition of carcinogenic chemicals may need to change.