In an article published January 25, 2014 by the news agent Epoch Times, journalist Rosemary Byfield reports that arsenic and environmental estrogen co-exposure increase cancer risks. In chemical risk assessment, chemicals are generally assessed individually for potential toxic effects. Both arsenic and environmental estrogens were previously found to be carcinogenic. A study published in November 2013 in the peer-reviewed scientific journal The Prostate now found that mixtures of arsenic and estrogen almost doubled the risk of prostate cell growth and transformation (Treas et al 2013). Kamaleshwar Singh, assistant pofessor at the Texas Technical University, U.S. and lead researcher of the study, argues in the article that chemical co-exposures are thus likely to have much higher (in this case carcinogenic) effects than individual exposures. Around 85 000 chemicals are estimated to be used in consumer products; more than 6 000 chemicals are known to be used in food contact materials (FCMs). Co-exposures to a large variety of chemicals on a daily basis are thus inevitable. Common sources of arsenic exposure include cigarette smoke, rice, non-organic chicken, and makeup. Estrogenic compounds exposure arising from FCMs include bisphenol A (BPA), parabens and phthalates.
Rosemary Byfield (January 25, 2014). “Safe’ Household Chemicals Combine to Double Cancer Risk.” Epoch Times.
Treas, J. et al. (2013). “Chronic exposure to arsenic, estrogen, and their combination causes increased growth and transformation in human prostate epithelial cells potentially by hypermethylation-mediated silencing of MLH1.” The Prostate 73, 15, 1660-1672.