Cancer kills approximately 20,000 people a day around the world, and many cases are preventable.

According to the World Health Organization, the majority of cancer deaths are caused by lung, breast, bowel, stomach and liver types.

Smoking, obesity and drinking too much alcohol are all known to increase your risk of cancer.

However, certain unlikely and seemingly harmless household items could too.

Beware these five hidden carcinogens in your home.

Scented candles and air fresheners

They might make your home smell nice, but cheap air freshers and scented candles could be harmful.

Scented candles could release cancer-causing chemicals when burned due to paraffin, which is made from petroleum waste.

Additionally, some wicks contain lead.

Look for natural plant waxes to give your house a pleasant non-cancerous aroma.

Cleaning products

Some cleaning products can contain cancer-causing chemicals.

Certain washing up soaps contain phthalates, hand soap often has triclosan in it, while multipurpose or window cleaners sometimes feature 2-butoxyethanol – all chemicals which have been linked to cancer.

Purchase a natural kitchen cleaner to wipe over surfaces.

Firelighters

Certain firelighters contain kerosene, and sometimes paraffin, which could release formaldehyde. 

The substance has been classified as a human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). 

Use a natural firelighter, such a Firemizer’s new product Firebuilder, to reduce the risk.

Red meat

While red meat, which includes beef, pork and lamb, is a good source of protein and minerals, it is not healthy in some forms.

Eating processed red meat, like sausages and bacon, has been linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and even cancer. 

Going flexitarian – a person who is primarily vegetarian but who occasionally eats meat and fish – or vegetarian, could help reduce this risk.

Shower curtain

Some shower curtains are made from poly vinyl chloride (PVC) which, according to the Environmental Protection Agency in the US could release chemicals into the air.

PVC is now considered one of the most toxic types of plastic and has been linked to cancer. 

Avoiding shower curtains made from the material and choosing hemp or nylon alternatives could mitigate this risk.

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