27 IARC Group 1 Carcinogens That You Encounter Daily

by Gregory
Dangers of Hormonal Contraceptives

Cancer is unregulated cell growth.  Pure and simple…and it is a killer.  Approx. 50% of all men will be diagnosed with cancer; 33% of women.  Despite anecdotal evidence and spurious reports, cancer rates are not decreasing in the modern world.   Part of the reason for this growth is that lifestyle choices (alcohol, smoking, obesity) and exposure to hazardous materials are direct contributing factors to acquiring cancer.  Most people like to think that it is solely genetics and age, but in fact most new victims of cancer do NOT have someone in their family who has it already.  We at Naturopathic Earth thought it would be judicious to provide you a list of IARC Group 1 carcinogens possibly present in your day-to-day life.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is a branch of the World Health Organization (WHO) of the United Nations (UN). (Lot of acronyms!). The role of the IARC is to collect and analyze the causes of cancer in the world. Similar to the EWG’s Annual Dirty Dozen list of pesticide-laden produce, the IARC maintains of continuously updated database of known and suspected carcinogens.

The IARC has a five (5) category classification system for the carcinogenicity of agents/products.

  • Group 1–  Carcinogenic To Humans
  • Group 2A-Probably Carcinogenic To Humans
  • Group 2B-Possibly Carcinogenic To Humans
  • Group 3-Not Classifiable As To The Carcinogenicity To Humans
  • Group 4-Does Not Cause Cancer to Humans

We are going to cover Group 1, agents in which there is sufficient evidence to state unequivocally that it causes cancer in humans and animals.  Agents which indubitably cause cancer in animals, but the evidence is not super strong that it unequivocally does so in humans is also classified Group 1, given its carcinogenicity in animals.

{Read article on 5 Toxins You Must Remove From Your House Now.}

Many of these listed are organic compounds used in the manufacturing of goods and/or chemicals added to furniture, foods, automobiles of which you are not familiar.  Moreover, the list is quite extensive so we will only address a few to which you may be exposed in your daily routine.


  • Aflatoxins (can be acquired through mold infestations in house or food.)
  • Arsenic (trace amounts have been found in cosmetics, water, plastic toys etc.)
  • Asbestos (commonly used for house insulation in the 20th century.  Leads to mesothelioma.)
  • Cadmium (trace amounts found in cigarettes, batteries, fertilizers, and starchy vegetables.)
  • Estrogen Hormone Replacement Therapy for Menopausal Women (bio-identical hormones are fine.)
  • Ethanol (present in alcohol.  Consumption of alcoholic beverages is an undisputed carcinogen.)
  • Formaldehyde (sealer put in all particle board, plywood, varnish, paints, and floor finishes as well as cigarettes.)
  • Helicobacter Pylori (bacteria responsible for most gastric ulcers and stomach cancer.) (Read article on ulcers.)
  • Hepatitis B & C viruses (directly linked to Liver Cancer.)
  • HIV (Directly linked AIDS)
  • HPV (Directly linked to cervical cancer.)
  • Nickel (trace amounts found in cigarettes, cookware, coins, shampoos, and polluted water supply.)
  • Plutonium
  • Radon (trace amounts found in most municipal water supplies.)
  • Radiation (Solar or Medical)
  • Tamoxifen (drug used to prevent breast cancer but increased risk of uterine cancer.)
  • Vinyl Chloride (Most seen in PVC plastic ware. Direct links to lung, liver, and blood cancers.) (Read article on Plastics & BPA.)

Mixtures & Exposing Chemicals

  • Coal Tar Pitch (seen in medical procedures, home and highway construction.)
  • Engine Exhaust
  • Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill aka “The Birth Control Pill”(links to cervical and breast cancer.)
  • Paint (containing benzene)
  • Mineral (or Paraffin) Oil (seen in cosmetics, cutting boards, and shiny gummy candies.)
  • Processed Meats (Read this article for further explanation!)
  • Salted Fish
  • Wood dust (inhaled/absorbed when sanding/cutting wood. Cellulose, a filler found in many cheeses and sausages, is made from wood dust.)
  • Tobacco Smoke (1st Hand, 2nd Hand, Smokeless)
  • UV Tanning Beds

For a complete list of IARC Group 1 carcinogens visit the IACR site or Click Here.  Some of these, such as “The Pill” or wood dust, might be a surprise. But with awareness brings knowledge…and knowledge brings change.

Do not fret!  If you were exposed to any of the aforementioned once or twice in your life, it does not guarantee you will get cancer.  These are simply agents which either heavy acute or prolonged moderate exposure will likely lead to cancer.

Think of them as 80s perms, 90s parachute pants or “fanny packs.”  It is just best to stay away!

Subscribe to NPE Radio for tips on clean eating, avoidance of household toxins, and much more!

A. Gregory Luna

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