1,3-Butadiene has been assessed as a Priority Substance under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. The general population in Canada is exposed to 1,3-butadiene primarily through ambient air. Inhaled 1,3-butadiene is carcinogenic in both mice and rats, inducing tumors at multiple sites at all concentrations tested in all identified studies. In addition, 1,3-butadiene is genotoxic in both somatic and germ cells of rodents. It also induces adverse effects in the reproductive organs of female mice at relatively low concentrations. The greater sensitivity in mice than in rats to induction of these effects by 1,3-butadiene is likely related to species differences in metabolism to active epoxide metabolites. Exposure to 1,3-butadiene in the occupational environment has been associated with the induction of leukemia; there is also some limited evidence that 1,3-butadiene is genotoxic in exposed workers. Therefore, in view of the weight of evidence of available epidemiological and toxicological data, 1,3-butadiene is considered highly likely to be carcinogenic, and likely to be genotoxic, in humans. Estimates of the potency of butadiene to induce cancer have been derived on the basis of both epidemiological investigation and bioassays in mice and rats. Potencies to induce ovarian effects have been estimated on the basis of studies in mice. Uncertainties have been delineated, and, while there are clear species differences in metabolism, estimates of potency to induce effects are considered justifiably conservative in view of the likely variability in metabolism across the population related to genetic polymorphism for enzymes for the critical metabolic pathway.
For the majority of suspected carcinogens only little or no human evidence exists, and in general on-going epidemiologic studies fail to address this fast growing group of chemicals. A survey based on a Danish occupational surveillance system concerning data on present and historical import, production and use of the 167 chemicals evaluated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as possible or probable carcinogens, shows that about 110 of these chemicals are on the market in Denmark at present. Only 32 are used in industry in relatively large quantities. For some of these chemicals it is possible to identify clusters of companies, including historical cohorts of potentially exposed workers. Measurements of airborne pollutants are available for some few of the suspected carcinogens, indicating decreasing time trends and various levels in different industries. In spite of some limitations, this information on potential exposure has on ad hoc basis been linked to an existing cancer registry based occupational surveillance system, and various studies based on the total body of data are on-going, as a preliminary approach to give at least some human evidence to some widespread animal carcinogens.
A survey of occupational carcinogens by the Institute of Occupational Health, Finland shows that more than 100,000 workers are exposed to carcinogenic substances. The most common exposures are silica, wood dust, tobacco smoke and lead compounds. Based on biological monitoring of workers over the years it appears that overall lead exposure has decreased but exposure to styrene, trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene has decreased only slightly or remained constant. The biological monitoring data are based on samples sent by the workplaces on their initiative presenting no scientifically selected sampling. Thus due caution is needed in the interpretation of the trends.
The legislative basis of the federal Canadian government's control of toxic chemicals is described and examples are given of the practical application, ranging from recommendations to a ban on the sale of the product. The ordered sequence of risk assessment and the application of risk estimation techniques are considered. It is clear that the ultimate political decision is not amenable to simplistic scientific analysis, although risk analysis is valuable in defining, rather than solving, the problem.
The authors present results of prognostic occupational risk evaluation in firemen of Chief Administration of Emergency Situations Ministry in Astrakhan region. Major risk is caused by exposure to chemicals produced in combustion. Findings are that health risk for the workers with long length of service is quite high and sufficient for occupational diseases and carcinogenic effects formation.
The implementation in our country of recent legislation on carcinogenic risk assessment and management (VIIth title of Law 626/94) is considered. The authors describe potentialities and limits of the new legislation and of the derived Guidelines issued by the Regions. The health policy in this field and possible evolution in the near future are outlined, bearing in mind the experience of other countries. A short list of questions is suggested as a contribution to the discussion on the future scenario: whether exposure to carcinogens should be lower in the working environment than in the general environment; what is the relative importance of multifactoriality, individual biological variability, individual life-style in the genesis of cancers; whether medical health surveillance is worthwhile in terms of primary prevention; is it always true that there is no threshold limit value for carcinogens; what is the role of individual attitudes to prevention in exposure to carcinogens compared to "objective" protection; which balance between costs and benefits should be aimed at.
2-Amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP) is the most abundant mutagenic heterocyclic amine (HCA) present in cooked foods. PhIP induces colon cancer in male Fischer 344 (F344) rats, and its role in human colon carcinogenesis has been suspected. To study the ecogenetics in PhIP colon carcinogenesis, rat system using aberrant crypt focus (ACF) formation as a phenotypic marker was applied. Among Buffalo (BUF), Brown Norway (BN), F344 and ACI/N (ACI) strains of rats, F344 rats produced a lower level of PhIP-DNA adducts than other three strains, and the number of ACFs/rat was highest in BUF, intermediate in BN and F344 and lowest in ACI. Thus there was no correlation between adduct levels and number of ACF induced by PhIP. F1 progenies of BUF and ACI developed ACF at a similar level to that of F344, and F1 progenies of F344 and ACI developed ACF at a similar level to that of F344. Thus it was indicated that susceptibility of F344 to the ACF induction was autosomally dominant over ACI rats. The results also suggest that BUF rats have at least two genes, one is autosomally recessive against ACI rats and one is autosomally dominant similar to that F344 has. A total of 170 progeny of ACI backcross of F344/ACI F1 were examined for number of ACFs and 65 progeny were phenotyped as F344 and 60 were ACI. Using these 125 rats, chromosomal mapping is being performed using markers of simple sequence length polymorphism (SSLP) and representational difference analysis (RDA). By mapping the gene, we will be able to identify humans who might belong to high risk group in general population, and cancer can be prevented more efficiently by attaining early diagnosis.
1,3-Butadiene was included in the second list of Priority Substances to be assessed under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. Potential hazards to human health were characterized on the basis of critical examination of available data on health effects in experimental animals and occupationally exposed human populations, as well as information on mode of action. Based on consideration of all relevant data identified as of April 1998, butadiene was considered highly likely to be carcinogenic to humans, and likely to be a somatic and germ cell genotoxicant in humans. In addition, butadiene may also be a reproductive toxicant in humans. Estimates of the potency of butadiene to induce these effects have been derived on the basis of quantitation of observed exposure-response relationships for the purposes of characterization of risk to the general population in Canada exposed to butadiene in the ambient environment.
Nickel, chromium VI, and cadmium have been identified as lung carcinogens in highly exposed cohorts. The purpose of this study was to examine the etiological link between lung cancer and these metals in occupations, that usually entail lower levels of exposure than those seen in historical cohorts.
Two population-based case-control studies were conducted in Montreal, from 1979 to 1986 and from 1996 to 2001, comprising 1,598 cases and 1,965 controls. A detailed job history was obtained to evaluate lifetime occupational exposure to many agents, including nickel, chromium VI, and cadmium compounds.
Lung cancer odds ratios were increased only among former or non-smokers: 2.5 (95% CI: 1.3-4.7) for nickel exposure, 2.4 (95% CI: 1.2-4.8) for chromium VI, and 4.7 (95% CI: 1.5-14.3) for cadmium. The metals did not increase risk among smokers.
While excess risks due to these metal compounds were barely discernable among smokers, carcinogenic effects were seen among non-smokers.
Comment In: Am J Ind Med. 2011 May;54(5):41920957675
An experimental analysis is described which demonstrates that the epidemiologically established high rate of esophageal cancer among blacks and creoles in Curacao most likely is the result of a multistage process involving initiators and promoters. As part of local lifestyle, the group at risk utilizes for various purposes plant parts of an indigenous bush Croton flavens L. ("Welensali"). Moreover they consume, as an everyday beverage, a "bush tea" made from the leaves of the bush. The roots, leaves and tea are shown to contain a multitude of irritant croton factors which are characterized as diterpene esters of the tigliane type. In mouse skin these exhibit strong promoting activity comparable to that of TPA. As the latter, also the croton factors isolated, show no solitary carcinogenic activity. One cup of Welensali tea contains the equivalent of about 12-times the irritant dose of croton factor F1; in addition, the equivalent of about 1.4-times the irritant dose 50 of the corresponding "cryptic" promoter F1-20-decanoate is present. These amounts are considered sufficient to maintain chronic irritation of the esophagus as an important element of co-carcinogenesis, especially of tumor promotion. Also, persons at risk in Curacao have been exposed at times previously to certain initiators. Mice treated by an initiation/promotion protocol with DMBA (or other initiators) and TPA develop tumors of the forestomach. Therefore, esophageal cancer on Curacao may be considered the first case for cocarcinogens of the tumor promoter type being principal risk factors in a life style cancer.