People who have greater exposure to certain kitchen utensils could quadruple their risk of cancer, experts have warned.
The researchers found that so-called “forever chemicals” are hiding in pots, pans, spoons and other household items.
Experts at the University of Southern California (USC) said the chemicals may increase the risk of a common liver cancer known as non-viral hepatocellular carcinoma.
In many cases, a person will be diagnosed with this cancer due to iron overload syndromes, alcohol consumption, tobacco use and exposure to pesticides.
The study found that those who were exposed to the toxins had a 4.5 times higher risk of being diagnosed with the disease.
The chemical, perfluorooctane sulfate, is known as a “forever chemical” because it takes years to degrade in the environment.
They are also known as PFAS or “polyfluoroalkyl substances”.
In a statement, Dr. Jesse Goodrich, who is a postdoctoral scholar at USC, said, “Liver cancer is one of the most serious effects of liver disease, and this is the first human study to show that PFASs are associated with this disease”.
The doctors analyzed data from more than 200,000 people.
From this, 50 people were found to have liver cancer and then compared to 50 people who did not.
They then looked at blood samples from the volunteers that were taken before their diagnosis and then compared them to those who did not have cancer.
The researchers found that many of the people who developed cancer had several types of chemicals in their bloodstream.
These chemicals will usually reach the liver by being digested in some way.
The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says they are everywhere, including the toiletries and utensils we use to cook.
Doctors found that the chemicals altered the way glucose was metabolized in the body and also changed amino acids in the liver.
Because of this, more fat builds up around the liver, increasing a person’s risk of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
People with this condition have a higher risk of developing liver cancer.
PFASs were previously found to be contained in the wrappers of popular fast food chains.
A study published in October last year also found the substances in 80% of McDonald’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut and Domino’s meals.
The paper was based on samples from restaurants in San Antonio, United States, which found small amounts of phthalates.
These chemicals are used to make soft plastics and were found in 80 percent of the samples collected.
The chemical is linked to a number of health problems, including problems in the endocrine system, which is a series of glands that produce and secrete hormones in the body, a previous study found.
Phthalates are also linked to fertility and reproductive problems, with a 2020 study finding that the chemical can “induce disturbances in puberty, the development of testicular dysgenesis syndrome, cancer and fertility disorders in both men as in women”.
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