Risk Assessment

IV. Health Policy Reference Desk >> F. Health Policy Methods >> Risk Assessment (last update: 11.17.15)


Cancer Risk Assessment

According to The Meme Policeman, the International Agency for the Research on Cancer (IARC), which is part of the WHO, classifies carcinogens into several groups.

  • Group 1Established carcinogens
    • Examples include asbestos, plutonium, cigarettes, alcohol, outdoor pollution, UV and solar radiation, contraceptives, Chinese-style salted fish, and now processed meats.
  • Group 2AProbable carcinogens
    • Examples include glyphosates, certain insecticides, burning wood, and red meat.
  • Group 2BPossible carcinogens
    • Examples include half of God’s green earth!  Things like coffee, cell phones and pickled vegetables are found here, and if you’ve ever thought “everything causes cancer” you wouldn’t be far off.
  • Group 3Not classified either way
    • Examples include the other half of God’s green earth.
  • Group 4- Probably not carcinogenic
    • The IARC lists only 1 thing in this category; caprolactam, which is used in making nylon.  However, apparently it causes burning of the eyes and throat, so it’s not exactly manna from heaven.

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