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Encyclopedia > Carcinogenicity

In pathology, a carcinogen is any substance or agent that promotes cancer. Carcinogens are also often, but not necessarily, mutagens or teratogens. Pathology (in ancient Greek pathos = feeling, pain, suffering and logos = discourse or treatise, i. ... When normal cells are damaged or old they undergo apoptosis; cancer cells, however, avoid apoptosis. ... In biology, a mutagen (Latin, literally origin of change) is an agent that changes the genetic information (usually DNA) of an organism and thus increases the number of mutations above the natural background level. ... Teratogenesis is a medical term from the Greek, literally meaning monster making. ...


Carcinogens may cause cancer by altering cellular metabolism or damaging DNA directly in cells, which interferes with normal biological processes. Usually cells are able to detect this and attempt to repair the DNA; if they cannot, they may undergo programmed cell death to protect the organism. However, when the damage interferes with genes responsible for programmed cell death or perhaps encourages cell division, cancer may occur. Rapidly dividing cells, such as in skin, the stomach and intestinal lining, breast tissue, and reproductive organs, are particularly sensitive to carcinogens due to any damaged DNA being quickly replicated. Unrepaired DNA replication can then lead to further accumulation of mutations between cell divisions. Space-filling model of a section of DNA molecule Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions specifying the biological development of all cellular forms of life (and most viruses). ... Cells in culture, stained for keratin (red) and DNA (green) The cell is the structural and functional unit of all living organisms, and are sometimes called the building blocks of life. ... Main articles: Life The most salient example of biological universality is that all living things share a common carbon-based biochemistry and in particular pass on their characteristics via genetic material, which is based on nucleic acids such as DNA and which uses a common genetic code with only minor... DNA damage resulting in multiple broken chromosomes DNA repair is a process constantly operating in each cell of a living being; it is essential to survival because it protects the genome from damage. ... Programmed cell death (PCD) is the deliberate suicide of an unwanted cell in a multicellular organism. ... Cell division is the process by which a cell (called the parent cell) divides into two cells (called daughter cells). ... Model of the layers of human skin In zootomy and dermatology, skin is an organ of the integumentary system; which is composed of a layer of tissues that protect underlying muscles and organs. ... The stomach (Gaster) In anatomy, the stomach (in ancient Greek στόμαχος) is an organ in the alimentary canal used to digest food. ... The intestine is the portion of the alimentary canal extending from the stomach to the anus and, in humans and mammals, consists of two segments, the small intestine and the large intestine. ... Human female breasts The term breast, also known by the Latin mamma in anatomy, refers to the upper ventral region of an animals torso, particularly that of mammals, including human beings. ... A sex organ, or primary sexual characteristic, narrowly defined, is any of those parts of the body (which are not always bodily organs according to the strict definition) which are involved in sexual reproduction and constitute the reproductive system in an complex organism; namely: Male: penis (notably the glans penis...


Most carcinogens consumed by humans are produced by plants to prevent animals from eating them (as are alkaloids). Plants containing large amounts of carcinogens include aristolochia and bracken. Aflatoxin B1, which is produced by the fungus Aspergillus flavus growing on stored grains, nuts and peanut butter, is an example of a potent, naturally-occurring microbial carcinogen. Cooking protein-rich food at high temperatures, such as broiling or barbecuing meats, can lead to the formation of many potent carcinogens that are comparable to those found in cigarrette smoke (i.e., benzo[a]pyrene). Pre-cooking meats in a microwave oven for 2-3 minutes before broiling can help minimize the formation of these carcinogens. Divisions Land plants (embryophytes) Non-vascular plants (bryophytes) Marchantiophyta - liverworts Anthocerotophyta - hornworts Bryophyta - mosses Vascular plants (tracheophytes) Lycopodiophyta - clubmosses Equisetophyta - horsetails Pteridophyta - true ferns Psilotophyta - whisk ferns Ophioglossophyta - adderstongues Seed plants (spermatophytes) †Pteridospermatophyta - seed ferns Pinophyta - conifers Cycadophyta - cycads Ginkgophyta - ginkgo Gnetophyta - gnetae Magnoliophyta - flowering plants Adiantum pedatum (a fern... Phyla Porifera (sponges) Ctenophora (comb jellies) Cnidaria Placozoa Subregnum Bilateria Acoelomorpha Orthonectida Rhombozoa Myxozoa Superphylum Deuterostomia Chordata (vertebrates, etc. ... An alkaloid is a nitrogenous organic molecule that has a pharmacological effect on humans and animals. ... Species See text Aristolochia is a large genus of plants with over 500 species, belonging to the Birthwort family (Aristolochiaceae). ... Species Pteridium aquilinum Pteridium caudatum Pteridium latiusculum and about 7-8 other species Brackens (Pteridium) are a genus of about ten species of large, coarse ferns, in the family Hypolepidaceae. ... Chemical structure of Aflatoxin B1 Aflatoxins are naturally occurring mycotoxins that are produced by many species of Aspergillus; but most notably Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. ... Divisions Chytridiomycota Zygomycota Glomeromycota Ascomycota Basidiomycota Yellow fungus Fungus growing on a tree in Borneo A fungus (plural fungi) is a eukaryotic organism that digests its food externally and absorbs the nutrient molecules into its cells. ... Species Aspergillus caesiellus Aspergillus candidus Aspergillus carneus Aspergillus clavatus Aspergillus deflectus Aspergillus flavus Aspergillus fumigatus Aspergillus glaucus Aspergillus nidulans Aspergillus niger Aspergillus ochraceus Aspergillus oryzae Aspergillus parasiticus Aspergillus penicilloides Aspergillus restrictus Aspergillus sojae Aspergillus sydowi Aspergillus terreus Aspergillus ustus Aspergillus versicolor Aspergillus is a genus of around 200 fungi (moulds... Cereal crops are mostly grasses cultivated for their edible seeds (actually a fruit called a caryopsis). ... Hazelnuts from the Common Hazel Chestnuts // Botanical definition A nut in botany is a simple dry fruit with one seed (rarely two) in which the ovary wall or part of it becomes very hard (stony or woody) at maturity. ... Peanut Butter in jar Peanut butter is a food product usually consisting of roasted and ground peanuts, usually salted and sometimes sweetened. ... A microorganism or microbe is an organism that is so small that it is microscopic (invisible to the naked eye). ...


DDT, benzene, kepone, EDB, asbestos, and the waste rock of oil-shale mining have all been classified as carcinogenic. As far back as the 1930s, industrial and tobacco smoke were identified as sources of dozens of carcinogens, including benzopyrene, tobacco-specific nitrosamines such as nitrosonornicotine (NNN), and reactive aldehydes such as formaldehyde — which is also a hazard in embalming and making plastics. Vinyl chloride from PVC is a carcinogen. Certain viruses such as Hepatitis B and human papilloma viruses have been found to cause cancer in humans. The first one shown to cause cancer in animals was chicken sarcoma virus, discovered in 1910 by Peyton Roux. DDT was the first modern pesticide and is arguably the most well known organic pesticide. ... Benzene, also known as C6H6, PhH, and benzol, is an organic chemical compound which is a colorless and flammable liquid with a pleasant, sweet smell. ... Kepone (also known as Chlordecone) was a carcinogenic pesticide related to mirex. ... Asbestos (Greek ἄσβεστος: a-, not; sbestos, extinguishable) describes any of a group of fibrous metamorphic minerals of the hydrous magnesium silicate variety. ... Oil shale is a general term applied to a group of fine black to dark brown shales rich enough in bituminous material (called kerogen) to yield petroleum upon distillation. ... // Events and trends The 1930s were described as an abrupt shift to more radical lifestyles, as countries were struggling to find a solution to the global depression. ... Species N. glauca N. longiflora N. rustica N. sylvestris N. tabacum Ref: ITIS 30562 as of August 26, 2005 Tobacco (, L.) refers to a genus of broad-leafed plants of the nightshade family indigenous to North and South America or to the dried and cured leaves. ... Benzopyrene, C20H12, is a five-ring polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon that is mutagenic and highly carcinogenic. ... Nitrosamines are carcinogenic chemical compounds of the chemical structure R2N-N=O. Nitrosamines are produced from nitrites and amines. ... An aldehyde is either a functional group consisting of a terminal carbonyl group, or a compound containing a terminal carbonyl group. ... The chemical compound formaldehyde (also known as methanal), is a gas with a strong pungent smell. ... Embalming, in most modern cultures, is the art and science used to temporarily preserve human remains to forestall decomposition and make it suitable for display at a funeral. ... Plastic bottles for recycling Plastic is a term that covers a range of synthetic or semisynthetic polymerization products. ... Vinyl chloride, also known as chloroethene in IUPAC nomenclature, is an important industrial chemical chiefly used to produce its polymer, polyvinyl chloride (PVC). ... Originally known as serum hepatitis, Hepatitis B has only been recognized as such since World War II, and has caused current epidemics in parts of Asia and Africa. ... Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus which affects humans. ... 1910 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ...


CERCLA identifies all radionuclides as carcinogens, although the nature of the emitted radiation (alpha, beta, or gamma, and the energy), its consequent capacity to cause ionization in tissues, and the magnitude of radiation exposure, determine the potential hazard. For example, Thorotrast, an (incidentally-radioactive) suspension previously used as a contrast medium in x-ray diagnostics, is thought by some to be the most potent human carcinogen known because of its retention within various organs and persistent emission of alpha particles. Both Wilhelm Röntgen and Marie Curie died of cancer caused by radiation exposure during their experiments. The non-reproducing cells of the (non-gametogenic) tissues of adult insects are particularly resistant. Checking the status of a cleanup site CERCLA is an acronym for the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 9601 to 9675 (commonly known as the Superfund), which was enacted by the United States Congress on December 11, 1980 in response to the Love Canal... Atoms of chemical elements may have many isotopes (different forms) with different atomic numbers and different atomic weights. ... Radiation has a variety of different meanings. ... An alpha particle is deflected by a magnetic field Alpha particles or alpha rays (named after the first letter in the greek alphabet) are a form of particle radiation which are highly ionizing and have low penetration. ... Beta particles are high-energy electrons emitted by certain types of radioactive nuclei such as potassium-40. ... This article is about electromagnetic radiation. ... ... Thorotrast is a suspension containing particles of the radioactive compound thorium dioxide, ThO2, used as a contrast medium in X-ray diagnostics in the 1930s and 40s (use in some countries, such as the U.S. continued into the 1950s). ... Flour suspended in water In chemistry, a suspension is a dispersion (mixture) in which a finely-divided species is combined with another species, with the former being so finely divided and mixed that it doesnt rapidly settle out. ... In visual perception, contrast is the difference in visual properties that makes an object (or its representation in an image) distinguishable from other objects and the background. ... In the NATO phonetic alphabet, X-ray represents the letter X. An X-ray picture (radiograph) taken by Röntgen An X-ray is a form of electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength approximately in the range of 5 pm to 10 nanometers (corresponding to frequencies in the range 30 PHz... In biology, an organ is a group of tissues which perform some function. ... Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen (in English: William Conrad Roentgen) (March 27, 1845 – February 10, 1923) was a German physicist, of the University of Würzburg, who, on November 8, 1895, produced and detected electromagnetic radiation in a wavelength range today known as x-rays or R... Listen to this article · (info) This audio file was created from the revision dated 2005-08-17, and does not reflect subsequent edits to the article. ... Gametes (in Greek: γαμέτες) —also known as sex cells, or spores—are the specialized germ cells that come together during fertilization (conception) in organisms that reproduce sexually. ... Classes & Orders Subclass: Apterygota Orders Archaeognatha (Bristletails) Thysanura (Silverfish) Monura - extinct Subclass: Pterygota Infraclass: Paleoptera (paraphyletic) Orders Ephemeroptera (mayflies) Protodonata - extinct Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) Diaphanopteroidea - extinct Palaeodictyoptera - extinct Megasecoptera - extinct Archodonata - extinct Infraclass: Neoptera Orders Blattodea (cockroaches) Isoptera (termites) Mantodea (mantids) Dermaptera (earwigs) Plecoptera (stoneflies) Protorthoptera - extinct Orthoptera (grasshoppers...


Recent reports have implicated acrylamide in fried or overheated carbohydrate foods (such as french fries and potato chips) as a possible carcinogen. Studies are underway at the FDA and European regulatory agencies to assess its potential risk. The charred residue on barbecued meats has been identified as a carcinogen, along with many other tars. The chemical compound acrylamide (acrylic amide) has the chemical formula C3H5NO and structure Its systematic name is 2-propenamide. ... Carbohydrates (literally hydrates of carbon) are chemical compounds that consist of monosaccharide sugars of varying chain lengths and that have the general chemical formula Cm(H2O)n or are derivatives of such. ... French fries (also, less controversially simply fries or chips) are pieces of potato that have been deep-fried. ... Chips from Russet baking potatoes, a variety high in sugar. ... The United States Food and Drug Administration is the government agency responsible for regulating food, dietary supplements, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, biologics and blood products in the United States. ... Europe forms the westernmost part of Eurasia. ... A member of the Airpork Crew barbecue team prepares pork shoulder at the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest. ... TAR can mean: An abbreviation for Tar (file format) The Amazing Race, a reality television program An abbreviation for Tibet Autonomous Region The Third Assessment Report of the IPCC Thrombocytopenia Absent Radius syndrome An abbreviation for Teenage Republican, a member of the orgainization Teenage Republicans. ...


Co-carcinogens are chemicals which do not separately cause cancer, but do so in specific combinations.


IARC classification of carcinogens

  • Group 1: the agent (mixture) is carcinogenic to humans. The exposure circumstance entails exposures that are carcinogenic to humans.
  • Group 2A: the agent (mixture) is probably carcinogenic to humans. The exposure circumstance entails exposures that are probably carcinogenic to humans.
  • Group 2B: the agent (mixture) is possibly carcinogenic to humans. The exposure circumstance entails exposures that are possibly carcinogenic to humans.
  • Group 3: the agent (mixture or exposure circumstance) is not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans.
  • Group 4: the agent (mixture) is probably not carcinogenic to humans.

Further details can be found in the IARC Monographs. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC, or CIRC in its French acronym) is an intergovernmental agency forming part of the World Health Organisation of the United Nations. ... Substances, mixtures and exposure circumstances in this list have been classified by the IARC as Group 1: The agent (mixture) is carcinogenic to humans. ... Substances, mixtures and exposure circumstances in this list have been classified by the IARC as Group 2A: The agent (mixture) is probably carcinogenic to humans. ... Substances, mixtures and exposure circumstances in this list have been classified by the IARC as Group 2B: The agent (mixture) is possibly carcinogenic to humans. ... Substances, mixtures and exposure circumstances in this list have been classified by the IARC as Group 3: The agent (mixture or exposure circumstance) is not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans. ... Substances, mixtures and exposure circumstances in this list have been classified by the IARC as Group 4: The agent (mixture) is probably not carcinogenic to humans. ...


See also

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC, or CIRC in its French acronym) is an intergovernmental agency forming part of the World Health Organisation of the United Nations. ...

External links

  • U.S. National Toxicology Program's Report on Carcinogens

  Results from FactBites:
 
Carcinogen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (670 words)
Carcinogens are also often, but not necessarily, mutagens or teratogens.
Carcinogens may cause cancer by altering cellular metabolism or damaging DNA directly in cells, which interferes with normal biological processes.
CERCLA identifies all radionuclides as carcinogens, although the nature of the emitted radiation (alpha, beta, or gamma, and the energy), its consequent capacity to cause ionization in tissues, and the magnitude of radiation exposure, determine the potential hazard.
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Emissions of dioxin TCDD, a carcinogen and the most toxic of the 75 chemicals in the dioxin family, rose from 0.000153 pounds to.00293 pounds, a nearly 2,000...
The slick of the carcinogen benzene arrived at the outskirts of Harbin, capital of China's northeastern Heilongjiang province, early this morning, the local...
Bleaching paper with chlorine produces a carcinogen called dioxin, which is harmful to the environment and can remain in water and soil for as long as 50 years...
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