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The Role of Environmental Chemicals in Human Cancer Causation

  • Howard M. Kipen
  • I. Bernard Weinstein

Abstract

In 1775 Sir Percival Pott first defined the role of environmental chemicals as etiological agents in human cancer. Pott, a London surgeon, drew attention to the unique susceptibility of chimney sweeps to scrotal skin cancer (205). He attributed their increased cancer risk to chronic soot exposure. It is now appreciated, many years later, that soot contains chemical substances known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are potent carcinogens. Among these PAHs is benzo[a]pyrene (BaP), a ubiquitous environmental pollutant found in cigarette smoke, automobile exhaust, and urban air. This substance has been demonstrated to be a potent skin carcinogen in experimental animals.

Keywords

Carcinogenic Risk Chemical Carcinogen Asbestos Exposure Human Carcinogen Chemical Carcinogenesis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Recommended Reading

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Howard M. Kipen
  • I. Bernard Weinstein

There are no affiliations available

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