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A cocktail of 50 chemicals we are exposed to on a daily basis, including some found in mobile phones, detergents and pesticides used on fruits and vegetables, may trigger cancer, says a research.
"This research backs up the idea that chemicals not considered harmful by themselves may be combining and accumulating in our bodies to trigger cancer and might lie behind the global cancer epidemic we are witnessing," said Hemad Yasaei from Brunel University London.
A global task force of 174 scientists from leading research centres across 28 countries studied the link between mixtures of commonly encountered chemicals and the development of cancer.
The study selected 85 chemicals not considered carcinogenic to humans and found 50 supported key cancer-related mechanisms at exposures found in the environment.
"A review on this scale, looking at environmental chemicals from the perspective of all the major hallmarks of cancer, is unprecedented," professor Andrew Ward from University of Bath in Britain said.
Current research estimates that chemicals could be responsible for as many as one in five cancers.
With the human population routinely exposed to thousands of chemicals, the effects need to be better understood to reduce the incidence of cancer globally.
"Every day we are exposed to an environmental 'chemical soup', so we need testing that evaluates the effects of our ongoing exposure to these chemical mixtures," lead study author William Goodson, senior scientist at the California Pacific Medical Centre in San Francisco said.
The research was published in the journal Carcinogenesis.