After a June 2014 meeting, IARC has now released the first of a series of monographs assessing the carcinogenic potential of some chloro-, fluoro- and sulfo- compounds. The Working Group classified perfluorooctanoic acid in Group 2B (possibly carcinogenic to humans) based on limited evidence in humans; a positive association was observed for cancers of the testis and kidney. Increased incidences of testicular, liver and pancreatic cancers were also observed in experimental animals.

Following IARC’s June 2015 meeting, 2,4-D has also been classified in Group 2B. This classification was based on limited evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals (including the increased incidence of reticulum-cell sarcomas and brain astrocytomas). There was inadequate evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of 2,4-D. Further monographs arising from this meeting, on other insecticides and herbicides, will follow.

At a meeting held in May 2016, a Working Group discussed the carcinogenicity of drinking coffee, maté and very hot beverages. Coffee, classified since 1991 in Group 2B, was thoroughly re-evaluated, with the review of over a thousand human and animal studies. There was inadequate evidence for the carcinogenicity of coffee drinking overall, which was therefore redefined as being “unclassifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans” (Group 3). Cold or “not very hot” maté did not have carcinogenic effects in animal experiments or in epidemiological studies and was also placed in Group 3. However, limited evidence from epidemiological and animal studies showed positive associations between the drinking of very hot beverages and cancer of the oesophagus. Consequently, “very hot beverages” (those above 65oC) have been classified as “probably carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2A).

International Agency for Research in Cancer (2016).

IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans. Volume 110. Carcinogenicity of perfluorooctanoic acid, tetrafluoroethylene, dichloromethane, 1,2-dichloropropane, and 1,3-propane sultone.

IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans. Volume 113. Carcinogenicity of lindane, DDT, and 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid.

Lancet Oncology (2016). Carcinogenicity of drinking coffee, mate, and very hot beverages. 15 June 2016.


The above items were taken from the August/September 2016 issue of Toxicology and Regulatory News which is sent automatically to members of bibra (click here)

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