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carcinogen is any substance that is directly linked to the development of any type of cancer. Carcinogens can cause cancer in many ways, such as changing the cellular genome or interfering with metabolism.  Among the best known carcinogens are inhaled asbestosdioxin and tobacco smoke.  

However, not all carcinogens are artificial.  Alfatoxin, which is a component of types of fungushepatitis B and the human papilloma virus are also linked to certain types of cancer.

Radioactive materials are also potent carcinogens and can result in many different types of cancer depending on the cells that are damaged.  This is a known risk of radiology that uses high-energy ionizing radiation.

Carcinogen at Wikipedia

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