A Lancet Oncology report summarises conclusions from the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s February 2013 meeting on polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs). The full meeting report will ultimately be issued as volume 107 of IARC’s prestigious series of Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans.

There was judged to be “sufficient” evidence for the carcinogenicity of PCBs in humans (with epidemiological studies associating exposure with melanoma) and laboratory animals (with exposure-related tumours seen in the lung, liver and oral mucosa). As a result, PCBs have been classified as “carcinogenic to humans” (Group 1).

There was “inadequate” epidemiological evidence for the carcinogenicity of PBBs, but “sufficient” evidence in experimental animals, together with data indicating that the toxic effects and carcinogenic potential of these chemicals involve many of the same pathways as their chlorinated counterparts, led to an upgraded classification of “probably carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2A).

Lauby Secretan B et al. (2013). Carcinogenicity of polychlorinated biphenyls and polybrominated biphenyls. Lancet Oncology. Early online publication. 15 March. 



The above item was taken from the April 2013 issue of Toxicology and Regulatory News which is sent automatically to members of bibra (click here for more details).

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