HEALTH EFFECTS|CARCINOGENS

CARCINOGENS
Hundreds of chemicals are capable of inducing cancer in humans or animals after prolonged or excessive exposure. There are many well-known examples of chemicals that can cause cancer in humans. The fumes of the metals cadmium, nickel, and chromium are known to cause lung cancer. Vinyl chloride causes liver sarcomas. Exposure to arsenic increases the risk of skin and lung cancer. Leukemia can result from chemically induced changes in bone marrow from exposure to benzene and cyclophosphamide, among other toxicants. Other chemicals, including benzo[a]pyrene and ethylene dibromide, are considered by authoritative scientific organizations to be probably carcinogenic in humans because they are potent carcinogens in animals. Chemically-induced cancer generally develops many years after exposure to a toxic agent. A latency period of as much as thirty years has been observed between exposure to asbestos, for example, and incidence of lung cancer.

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