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Your Environment. Your Health.

Alcohol's Cancer-Causing Potential to Be Reviewed, Along with Environmental Tobacco Smoke, Diesel Fumes

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)

News Release

Archive - New Contact Information

For more information about this archival news release, please contact Christine Flowers, Director, Office of Communications & Public Liaison at (919) 541-3665.
Monday, February 23, 1998, 12:00 p.m. EDT
Contact: Bill Grigg, NIEHS
(301) 402-3378

The National Toxicology Program announced plans today to review alcoholic beverages and environmental tobacco smoke for listing in the federal government's Ninth Report on Carcinogens, a report to be submitted by the Department of Health and Human Services to Congress in 1999.

Officials of the NTP, headquartered at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, said they also planned to review:

  • the particulates in diesel engine exhaust,
  • isoprene, an element of natural rubber,
  • an additive to unleaded gasoline called methyl-t-butyl ether,
  • crystalline silica from mining, quarrying, stone-cutting and related occupations,
  • the sterilant ethylene oxide, which is already listed as an "anticipated" human carcinogen but would be considered for upgrading to "known" human carcinogen, and
  • nickel and its compounds, also a candidate to be upgraded to "known."

In a departure from past practices in which occupations with a cancer risk were not considered for formal listing, NTP plans to review nickel refining and boot and shoe manufacture and repair for listing as carcinogens in the body of the report.

The purpose of today's announcement was to solicit scientific and public views on the substances. Comment should be directed to Dr. C. W. Jameson, NTP/NIEHS, EC-14, PO Box 12233, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 by March 18.

Comment is also being sought for the possible de-listing of ethyl acrylate, which is used to make textiles and latex paints and has been listed as an "reasonably anticipated" human carcinogen, a category based on animal studies and molecular structure but little or no human data.

The Reports on Carcinogens are mandated by Congress. They are designed to provide careful, expert views on study data that industry, regulatory agencies or Congress may act upon. The reviews include evaluations by three scientific panels and input form interested members of the public. The results should be published in the Ninth Report on Carcinogens in 1999.

Kenneth Olden, Ph.D., is director of both the NTP and NIEHS, which is a part of the National Institutes of Health. NTP and NIEHS share a 377-acre campus in Research Triangle Park, N.C.

Appeared in Federal Register on pages 5565-5567.

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