|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 15, 2000
NIEHS Media Contact:Bill Grigg|
(301) 402-3378; home (301) 652-1864
Advisory Panel on Federal Report on Carcinogens Makes Recommendations to NIEHS/NTP for New Listings
- Common wood dust produced in sanding furniture and cabinets, which is associated in industrial settings with increases in cancer of the nasal cavities and sinuses. About two million people world-wide are exposed to wood dust routinely in their jobs.
- Broad spectrum ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight or artificial sources. However, the individual classes UVA, UVB and UVC were recommended for listing in the different category of "reasonably anticipated to be human carcinogens" because of difficulties in separating overlaps between classes.
Recommended for listing as "reasonably anticipated" to be a human carcinogen (a second category, used generally when strong, causal human data or mechanisms have not been shown):
- Methyleugenol, a naturally occurring flavor in basil, cinnamon leaves, nutmeg, mace, pimento, bananas, black pepper, bilberries and blackberry essence. It is also added as a flavoring agent in minute quantities to some jellies, baked goods, nonalcoholic beverages, chewing gum, candy, pudding, relish and ice cream. Methyeugenol has been linked to liver, glandular, kidney and mammary gland tumors in laboratory animals but there have been no studies as yet to show if it causes cancer in humans, NIEHS/NTP staff said.
- Metallic nickel as encountered in some industrial uses (recommended by a split 7-3 vote but the panel voted 9 to 1 against also listing certain alloys of nickel as well. The alloys have many uses as specialty steels and stainless steels and are used in some medical implants.
Trichloroethylene (TCE), a degreaser for metal parts such as those used in manufacturing metal products, electrical and electronic equipment and for cleaning transport equipment, was considered for upgrading to "known" human carcinogen from "reasonably anticipated" but the panel recommended that the chemical continue in the second category.
The panel recommended, 7 to 3, that ordinary talc not be listed as either known to be or reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen. The panel reviewed a series of studies of women with ovarian cancer but was not convinced that the excess cancers could clearly be related to genital talc use.
A particular type of talc, called talc with asbestiform fibers, contains fibers that have an appearance similar to asbestos but are not truly asbestos. The panel rejected a recommendation that these be listed as "known" human carcinogens, and the panel split, 5 to 5, over whether the data on lung cancers in talc miners and millers justified a listing as "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen."