The Student Room Group

Group 1 Carcinogens

My father died from stomach cancer.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has produced a list of Group 1 Carcinogens. The Group 1 classification means that "There is enough evidence to conclude that it can cause cancer in humans."

The list of Group 1 Carcinogens includes:
Asbestos
Plutonium
Tobacco smoking & tobacco smoke, secondhand
Salted fish (Chinese style)
Alcoholic beverages
Processed meat

"Processed meat refers to meat that has been transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking, or other processes to enhance flavour or improve preservation. Most processed meats contain pork or beef, but processed meats may also contain other red meats, poultry, offal, or meat by-products such as blood.

Examples of processed meat include hot dogs (frankfurters), ham, sausages, corned beef, and biltong or beef jerky as well as canned meat and meat-based preparations and sauces."


https://www.cancer.org/cancer/risk-prevention/understanding-cancer-risk/known-and-probable-human-carcinogens.html

https://www.who.int/news-room/questions-and-answers/item/cancer-carcinogenicity-of-the-consumption-of-red-meat-and-processed-meat


How can I minimise my exposure to carcinogenic substances?

What tactics and strategies do you employ to reduce your exposure to carcinogenic substances?
Reply 1
Original post by Dunnig Kruger

How can I minimise my exposure to carcinogenic substances?


Don't smoke, don't drink, don't eat the foods listed and avoid plutonium and asbestos?
Original post by black tea
Don't smoke, don't drink, don't eat the foods listed and avoid plutonium and asbestos?


Do you not smoke, not drink and not eat any of the foods listed? If so, any advice on how to do so?
Reply 3
Original post by Dunnig Kruger
Do you not smoke, not drink and not eat any of the foods listed? If so, any advice on how to do so?

I don't smoke, don't really drink and rarely eat processed meat, yeah. I'm not quite sure what advice you are needing? You just cut down - replace those things with things that are not on the list?
I try to steer clear of all direct exposure to most of the best known carcinogens, hazardous chemicals pollutants.
Asbestos, benzene, benzidene, bisphenols, incinerator & power station waste, methylparaben and some of the best known hormone disrupting chemicals.

Check radon levels before I move into a new property and immediately install at least one radon detector on the ground floor for at least 10 days.
I don't sunbathe or use uv tanning machines.
Don't smoke but am fine with other people smoking legal cigarettes, cigars or pipes.

I don't eat seafood and have fried foods a few times a month.
But enjoy alcohol, beef, chicken and ultra processed smoky favoured meat items very frequently.
I mostly cook with olive oil, although my favourite oil for frying and curries is sunflower oil.
Fry with beef tallow a couple of times a year.

Personally I'm most worried about the carcinogens & endocrine dysrupting chemicals in bottles, makeup and haircare products.
Along with very high pollution levels in some uk regions with lots of traffic or waste disposal facilities emitting very high levels of accidental spills/visible air pollution.
I avoid buying bpa containing plastic bottles & food containers, tin cans, plywood furniture and new mattresses.
Try to stick to using glass bottles and bpa free food containers.
Original post by black tea
I don't smoke, don't really drink and rarely eat processed meat, yeah. I'm not quite sure what advice you are needing? You just cut down - replace those things with things that are not on the list?

What things do you eat instead?
Original post by londonmyst
I try to steer clear of all direct exposure to most of the best known carcinogens, hazardous chemicals pollutants...

...I don't eat seafood and have fried foods a few times a month.
But enjoy alcohol, beef, chicken and ultra processed smoky favoured meat items very frequently.
I mostly cook with olive oil, although my favourite oil for frying and curries is sunflower oil.
Fry with beef tallow a couple of times a year....


Thank-you for your honesty.

I personally think it's a valuable human liberty that we as adults should be free to eat, drink, inhale anything that we want.
However I also think that it's important that there is full disclosure from the manufacturers and sellers of Group 1 Carcinogens. So that the choice to consume is an informed one.

I think that there's an interesting Overton Window going on here. Whereby tobacco in 2023 is regarded very much as a Group 1 Carcinogen. And consumption of tobacco has decreased over the last 100 years. Wheras processed meats aren't regarded in the same way.
Maybe in 100 years time the Overton Window will have moved on and processed meat will be regarded in the same way as tobacco.

We can also look back at the Tobacco Industry Playbook. All the things that they did and said to maintain the public image of tobacco when it was under siege by scientific evidence. And we can draw our own conclusions as to whether the processed meat industry is using the same playbook today.

I personally have not found it easy to eliminate my consumption of processed meat. It's still an ongoing process.
Reply 7
Original post by Dunnig Kruger
What things do you eat instead?

When I'm in a position to plan and cook my own meals, I mostly eat fish or vegetable and pulses-based stews with or without lean meat. I like venison a lot - it tastes like red meat but is very lean. I also eat a lot of soups and salads.

If I need a salty snack, I tend to go for cheese. Or salty popcorn.
(edited 9 months ago)
Original post by black tea
When I'm in a position to plan and cook my own meals, I mostly eat fish or vegetable and pulses-based stews with or without lean meat. I like venison a lot - it tastes like red meat but is very lean. I also eat a lot of soups and salads.

If I need a salty snack, I tend to go for cheese. Or salty popcorn.

What fish do you tend to eat and how do you cook it?
Reply 9
Original post by Dunnig Kruger
What fish do you tend to eat and how do you cook it?

Mostly salmon, because it's easy to cook - just shove it in the oven. I also really like smoked salmon and I tend to have that either with eggs or with rye/sourdough toast.

White fish is too faffy to cook from scratch, so I usually just buy frozen these days for convenience but check the ingredients to make sure they are things I recognise - e.g. https://www.sainsburys.co.uk/gol-ui/product/youngs-gastro-basa-fillets-dusted-with-sea-salt---black-pepper-x2-320g.

I also have tuna occasionally but mostly as a snack out of the tin.

Quick Reply