Fifty everyday chemicals, including one found in fried potatoes, could be combining to increase our risk of cancer, researchers say.
Previous studies may have under-estimated the danger because they did not take into account the risk the chemicals pose together.
A taskforce of 174 scientists across 28 countries reviewed studies looking at the link between mixtures of ‘common and unavoidable’ chemicals and the development of disease.
Fifty of the chemicals were rated as having small effects on the body at low doses and considered to pose little risk.
But the researchers suggest they could combine with other chemicals to trigger changes that could lead to cancer.
Among chemicals flagged up were triclosan, found in anti-bacterial handwash; phthalates, found in plastics; titanium dioxide, used in suncream; and acrylamide, which is found in fried potatoes.
The report says: ‘Current approaches to the study of chemical exposures and carcinogenesis [formation of cancer] have not been designed to address effects at low concentrations or in complex mixtures.’