Cancer-Causing Chemicals Are Found in Heartburn Drug


ABC News

Heartburn drug Zantac contains traces of the carcinogen nitrosodimethylamine, according to a study from the New York Times.

Gianna Caviglia, Staff Writer

Recent evidence shows that some chemicals found in household items have caused multiple types of deadly cancers.

With an estimated 1,735,350 new cases of cancer that will be diagnosed per year, 609,640 of whom will die from the disease, cancer is now the second leading cause of death in America. As bleak as it seems, the most common chemicals that cause cancer are found in drugs and household items that Americans use daily.

Gregory Gruszynski, a life skills teacher at Woodside, mentioned that sometimes the Food and Drug Administration is “open to manipulation” and is not fully complicit with the pharmaceutical companies that sell these drugs. Though it has not been proven yet, Gruszynski believes that the pharmaceutical companies somehow “fake data that the FDA approves,” leading to unknown substances in drugs.

In terms of the different types of household items that may carry carcinogens, there are items as simple as the wood paneling in homes that may cause cancer. In March 2019, Lumber Liquidators was sued for producing wood floors containing formaldehyde.

“I think that the fact the most homes that are made out of wood have some traces of formaldehyde is awful because people getting sick don’t know what they got it from,” Woodside biology teacher Ilka Handler said in response to the scandal.

Technology, according to some people, is the source of many problems, and with the way that it’s advancing now, people may never know what some of the long-term effects it may have on communities.

“New and advanced technology is creating new substances that we don’t know are in these drugs that we take, making us vulnerable to certain illnesses,” Hadler believes.

Alton Lee, another Woodside biology teacher, agrees with Handler about our lack of knowledge of the drugs.

Lee further explains that a drug, Zantac, which is used to help heartburn, had low levels of a cancer-causing chemical called Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). “It’s not that they [added in NDMA] on purpose; it’s just there,” explained Lee.

“NDMA just seems to be a hitchhiker of some sorts,” Lee added. “It’s a lot of unintended things. The challenge is always going to be that there are still a lot of things that we don’t know.”