Acrylamide is a chemical used in paper and pulp production, construction, textiles, cosmetics, plastics, mining, food processing, agriculture, and water treatment. Studies suggest the chemical can cause cancer; as such, some people are interested in how they can avoid or limit their exposure to acrylamide. Due to its presence in many foods and industries, this is difficult, but complete avoidance is not necessary. There are many ways to reduce exposure and consumption of acrylamide.
Studies on rodents suggest exposure to acrylamide increases the risk of several types of cancer. The body converts the chemical to glycidamide, which is shown to cause mutations and DNA damage. Surprisingly, large-scale studies in humans show no conclusive evidence that dietary acrylamide increases the risk of cancer. The lack of conclusive evidence may be due to the difficulty of tracking a person's acrylamide intake. The amounts found to be carcinogenic, or cancer-causing, in mice are much higher in proportion to body weight than amounts studied in humans.
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