I am getting very confused over this whole cancer thing.
The WHO apparently slots carcinogens into several categories according to whether they definitely cause cancer, may cause it, possibly may cause it, might cause it, is unlikely to cause it unless the WHO disapproves and finally "needs more research".
Now they are dividing each of those categories into two more – those that have a safe level and those that don't.
We all know that our beloved fried rashers are now classed as weapons grade, classification 1 carcinogenic along with asbestos, plutonium and [naturally] tobacco. However there has been a bit of a backlash against this decision as people tend to be fond of their Irish Breakfast [insert breakfast of your choice here] and so they have recanted by saying that it's definitely as carcinogenic as tobacco etcetera, but you can eat it if you like.
In my book, "no safe level" means just that – NO safe level. A mere touch of it will instantly shrivel you up into a person sized tumour as soon as you touch it. One Picogram and you are toast [which incidentally is also carcinogenic]. Now asbestos and tobacco are both classed as "no safe level" which I find a tad confusing as I dabbled with the former and have more than dabbled with the latter, so why am I not shriveled up and dead? Or by "no safe level" do they really mean "we really don't want you to touch this"?
So could I be right in thinking that the WHO's grading is more a matter of acceptability? They approve of processed meat and car exhaust but they disapprove of tobacco and asbestos? Or could it be that processed meat and cars are an embedded and integral part of life whereas asbestos and tobacco are merely an inconvenience?
I'm beginning to think there is no safe level of WHO.