There are likely chemicals in use today that are carcinogens. One reason is that the amount of long-term testing necessary to assess a substance’s cancer-causing potential are rarely done. Short term safety testing is done, but that is not enough. Another issue is that many industries don’t bother to regulate ingredients, such as the cosmetics industry. Certain substances are considered “trade secrets” and remain unevaluated.
Part of the issue is just that it can take decades, or even centuries, to figure out that a material is carcinogenic. Asbestos mining was known to be unhealthy in the time of the Romans, but it took a while for us to link it to lung cancer. Think about all the new plastics that have come out in the last 50 years; we’re just now realizing some might cause cancer.
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