Public Release:  Report outlines knowledge gaps for 20 suspected carcinogens

PCBs, diesel exhaust among agents identified as focus of further research

American Cancer Society

ATLANTA -July 15, 2010 - A new report from the American Cancer Society and other world-leading health groups identifies gaps in research for 20 suspected carcinogens whose potential to cause cancer is as yet unresolved. The report is designed to prioritize agents for additional research, and to lead to well-planned epidemiologic or mechanistic studies leading to more definitive classification of these agents.

The report, "Identification of research needs to resolve the carcinogenicity of high-priority IARC carcinogens," is a concerted effort to identify ways to close existing gaps in knowledge for particular agents classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) by identifying information needs and the research to address them for 20 selected agents. The agents are generally in IARC Groups 2A, 2B, and 3. The project originated as part of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's (NIOSH) National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) to enhance occupational cancer research, and involved collaboration with IARC, the American Cancer Society, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The effort was co-sponsored by the American Cancer Society. The agents prioritized as needing additional study are:

  • Lead and lead compounds
  • Indium phosphide
  • Cobalt with tungsten carbide
  • Titanium dioxide
  • Welding fumes
  • Refractory ceramic fibers
  • Diesel exhaust
  • Carbon black
  • Styrene-7,8-oxide and styrene
  • Propylene oxide
  • Formaldehyde
  • Acetaldehyde
  • Dichloromethane, methylene chloride (DCM)
  • Trichloroethylene (TCE)
  • Tetrachloroethylene (perc, tetra, PCE)
  • Chloroform
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
  • Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP)
  • Atrazine
  • Shift work

"There is significant concern among the public about substances or exposures in the environment that may cause cancer, and there are some common occupational agents and exposure circumstances where evidence of carcinogenicity is substantial but not yet conclusive for humans," said Elizabeth Ward, Ph. D., vice president, Surveillance and Health Policy Research at the American Cancer Society and lead author of the report.. "The objectives of this report are to identify research gaps and needs for 20 agents prioritized for review based on evidence of widespread human exposures and potential carcinogenicity in animals or humans." Dr. Ward, one of the organizers of the meeting and lead author of a version of the report that appears in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, added that the report highlights the importance of research in occupational settings for the identification of human carcinogens as well as the need for funding and access to populations for this work to continue.

###

The full report can be viewed at: http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Publications/techrep42/index.php

Article: Ward EM, Schulte PA, Straif K, Hopf NB, Caldwell JC, et al. 2010 Research Recommendations for Selected IARC-Classified Agents. Environ Health Perspect doi:10.1289/ehp.0901828

About the American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nation's largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing about $3.4 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us any time, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.