Many natural and unnatural chemicals are toxic and capable of causing cancer.
As a result, there is currently a great emphasis on minimizing our exposure to
polluting chemicals and pesticides. Although researchers at the University of
California claim that the latter are not a significant problem.
They say that 99.99% of the pesticides we eat are produced by the plant itself and
are natural. The remaining 0.01% are man-made agricultural pesticides.
Nevertheless, as much as half of these natural pesticides that have been tested
caused cancer in rodents. This is attributed tot the fact that the chemicals are tested
at the maximum tolerated dose, an extremely high level, but this does not mean
that they are carcinogenic at the trace levels consumed by humans.
Rather this is a worst case risk assessment.
Although many synthetic pesticides have been linked to cancer – 16 organochlorines
to breast cancer alone – we simply don’t know exactly what danger they pose.
According to a CSIRO researcher, the danger of all man-made pesticides is considerable
The adverse effects of some of these chemicals at high intakes have been clearly shown.
Some accumulate in our body to dangerously toxic levels.
All toxic chemicals are increasing the burden of gene-damaging agents that are
already challenging our health.
A good example of gross danger is from diocin, a by-product of pesticide manufacturing,
which is linked to cancers at a stunningly low concentration of 2.1 parts per quintillion
( one quintillion = one million million million).
In 1989 the US Natural Resources Defense Counsel (NRDC) alleged that some 5,500 – 6,200
children may develop cancer later in life from exposure to just eight pesticides during
their preschool years.
One of the most carcinogenic natural chemicals is aflatoxin, which is sometimes found in
mouldy peanuts. Because it is so strongly carcinogenic, government food inspectors test
peanuts for it regularly.
Much milder is the carcinogenic tendency with cured meats. Ham, bacon, corned beef,
red frankfurter sausages, hot dogs, salami, etc., are cured with sodium nitrite, some
of which converts in the stomach to carcinogenic nitrosamines.
The chlorine added to town water supplies for disinfection has its problems.
Traces convert to chloroform which is carcinogenic. Long hot showers also produce traces
of chloroform. The solution is simple: Drink purified water, fit a shower filter and
keep the bathroom windows wide open during showering, with exhaust fan on if available.
Some medical drugs have turned out to be carcinogenic One of the best known is
diethylstilboestrol (DES), a synthetic oestrogen. In the 1970s, six Australian girls
developed vaginal cancer as a result of their mothers taking this drug, and numerous
cases resulted in the US. The cancer took 10 – 20 years to develop.
The household pollution that results from an unflued heater burning oil, gas or coal
can double the risk of cancer of the voice box, according to a German cancer expert.