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Carcinogens are materials that can cause cancer in humans or animals. Several agencies including OSHA, NIOSH, and IARC are responsible for identifying carcinogens. There are very few chemicals known to cause cancer in humans, but there are many suspected carcinogens and many substances with properties similar to known carcinogens.

Examples of known carcinogens include the following:

  • Asbestos
  • Benzene
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Chromium, hexavalent
  • Aflatoxins

Zero exposure should be the goal when working with known or suspected carcinogens.