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Likely risk



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Situations where there is a likely risk of cancer involve exposure to an agent that is a known or probable carcinogen.


 

Occupational cancer reasonably attributable to specific agents
Situation Occupational cancer reasonably attributable to specific agents
Exposure Relevant workers
Carcinogen
Trichloroethylene
Polychlorinated biphenyls
Acrylamide
Diesel exhaust
Principal route of exposure Inhalation and dermal
Target organ (or tumour type)
Liver, biliary tract
Pancreas
Lung
Comment Compounds specified are occupational hazards which also have an environmental impact

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Particular workplaces, job classifications or occupational environments
Situation Particular workplaces, job classifications or occupational environments
Exposure Workers undertaking various occupations
Carcinogen
Not identified; risk related to work environment: eg.
Hairdressing
Petroleum refining
Firefighting
Principal route of exposure Implicitly inhalation and dermal exposure, but clear specification not possible
Target organ (or tumour type)
Urinary bladder, NHL
Skin cancer, leukaemia
Comment Consult IARC Group 2A ‘Exposure Circumstances’. Examples cited have implications relating to non-work exposures

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Work using insecticides apart from arsenic-containing compounds
Situation Work using insecticides apart from arsenic-containing compounds
Exposure Workers manufacturing & applying insecticides
Carcinogen Occupational exposure to multiple insecticides
Principal route of exposure Dermal and inhalation
Target organ (or tumour type) Lung, multiple myeloma, NHL
Comment No single agent has been shown to predominatly account for risk

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Smoking marijuana
Situation Smoking marijuana
Exposure Smokers of marijuana
Carcinogen Smoke contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and other compounds
Principal route of exposure Inhalation
Target organ (or tumour type) Lung
Comment Currently available data do not clearly establish causality

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Occupational exposure to cytotoxic drugs
Situation Occupational exposure to cytotoxic drugs
Exposure Oncology nurses and pharmacists
Carcinogen Cyclophosphamide and conventional cytotoxic drugs
Principal route of exposure Inhalation & dermal
Target organ (or tumour type) Not clear; no direct evidence
Comment Evidence of exposure and inference of biological effects (reduced birth numbers)

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Prenatal exposure to tobacco smoke
Situation Prenatal exposure to tobacco smoke
Exposure Children whose mothers smoke during pregnancy
Carcinogen
Tobacco smoke
 
Principal route of exposure Transplacental
Target organ (or tumour type) Leukaemia
Comment One of a many environmental pollutants implicated in epidemiological studies of childhood cancer

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Formaldehyde emitted from building products
Situation Formaldehyde emitted from building products
Exposure Occupants of relevant buildings
Carcinogen Formaldehyde
Principal route of exposure Inhalation
Target organ (or tumour type) Nasopharynx and associated cavities
Comment Formaldehyde considered an indoor air pollutant

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Cancer attributable to preserved timber in playgrounds
Situation Cancer attributable to preserved timber in playgrounds
Exposure Children primarily
Carcinogen Copper chrome arsenate
Principal route of exposure Ingestion, dermal absorption of As/Cr compounds
Target organ (or tumour type) Not clear
Comment Direct evidence of exposure

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Contamination of food by vinyl chloride
Situation Contamination of food by vinyl chloride
Exposure Whole population
Carcinogen Vinyl chloride
Principal route of exposure Ingestion
Target organ (or tumour type) Angiosarcoma primarily
Comment Monomer detected in some foods

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Benzene contamination of specific food or drink products
Situation
Benzene contamination of specific food or drink products
Exposure
Whole population
Carcinogen Benzene
Principal route of exposure Ingestion
Target organ (or tumour type)
Not clear
Comment
Unacceptable food contamination by a recognised carcinogen.

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Living near a properly-operating nuclear facility
Situation
Living near a properly-operating nuclear facility
Exposure
Local community
Carcinogen
Ionizing radiation
Principal route of exposure Irradiation
Target organ (or tumour type)
Comment
Very low incidence of occupational disease

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Asbestos in drinking water
Situation
Asbestos in drinking water
Exposure
Particular communities
Carcinogen
Asbestos
 
Principal route of exposure
Ingestion
Target organ (or tumour type)
Colo-rectum and possibly other sites
Comment
Inference of hazard from bioassay data

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Contamination of food by aflatoxins in developed countries
Situation
Contamination of food by aflatoxins in developed countries
Exposure
Whole population
Carcinogen
Aflatoxins
 
Principal route of exposure
Ingestion
Target organ (or tumour type)
Liver
Comment
Routine monitoring to prevent contamination.

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Environmental contamination by polychlorinated biphenyls
Situation
Environmental contamination by polychlorinated biphenyls
Exposure
Whole population
Carcinogen
Polychlorinated
Biphenyl congeners
Principal route of exposure Inhalation, dermal
Target organ (or tumour type)
NHL
Comment
Levels in tissues and bodily fluids falling over time

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Eating TCDD-contaminated food
Situation
Eating TCDD-contaminated food
Exposure
Specific populations, particular families of fishermen
Carcinogen TCDD
Principal route of exposure
Ingestion
Target organ (or tumour type)
Not clear; possibly all cancer combined
Comment
Mode of exposure distinct from disaster or occupational exposure

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Living near waste incinerator
Situation
Living near waste incinerator
Exposure
Specific local populations
Carcinogen
TCDD
 
Principal route of exposure
Inhalation, oral
Target organ (or tumour type)
All cancer combined
Comment
Marked reduction in TCDD exposure in developed countries during last 2 decades

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Living near a contaminated site
Situation
Living near a contaminated site, apart from circumstances involving arsenic contaminated water supply
Exposure
Surrounding community
Carcinogen
Pollution often involves multiple chemicals including heavy metals, polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxins, solvents and others.
Principal route of exposure
Inhalation and possibly dermal
Target organ (or tumour type)
Liver and possibly other sites
Comment
In the absence of increased cancer incidence, inference of exposure and harm may be evident from, for example, decreased birth weight

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Acrylamide in (deep fried) food
Situation
Acrylamide in (deep fried) food
Exposure
Consumers of particular products and possible whole population
Carcinogen
Acrylamide
Principal route of exposure
Oral
Target organ (or tumour type)
Colo-rectum
Comment
Altered of food pro-cesssing to minimize contamination, regard-less of cancer detection.

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Nitrosamines in beer, cured meats and other food
Situation
Nitrosamines in beer, cured meats and other food
Exposure
Persons eating relatively large amounts of processed meat
Carcinogen
N-nitrosodimethyl-amine and possibly other N-nitroso compounds
Principal route of exposure
Ingestion
Target organ (or tumour type)
Stomach, and possibly other sites
Comment
Bioassay & metabolism by human tissue provide unequivocal evidence of hazard

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Leaching of fire retardant from children’s sleep ware
Situation
Leaching of fire retardant from children’s sleep ware
Exposure
Infants
Carcinogen
Tris(2,3-dibromopropyl) phosphate
Principal route of exposure
Dermal & oral
Target organ (or tumour type)
Not clear
Comment
Direct evidence of absorption from clothing.

This information is based on peer review research published in the journal: B.W. Stewart, Banding carcinogenic risks in developed countries: A procedural basis for qualitative assessment, Mutat. Res.: Rev. Mutat. Res. (2008), doi:10.1016/j.mrrev.2007.11.007.

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This page was last updated on: Thursday, November 29, 2012

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