Scientists Urge More Research Into Environmental Aging Triggers (National Geographic)

Elderly hand holdingThree University of North Carolina scientists argue in a new paper that more research needs to be done on “gerontogens” — the factors that can accelerate aging. Gerontogens can include arsenic in groundwater, benzene in industrial emissions, ultraviolet radiation in sunlight, many types of chemotherapy, some anti-HIV drugs, and the 4,000 toxic chemicals in tobacco smoke. Activities are also included, such as eating too many calories or suffering psychological stress.

Other studies have suggested that only about 25 percent of the variation in the human life span is influenced by genes, National Geographic reports, yet the study of gerontogens has lagged behind other areas of aging research.

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