Author(s): Infante PF
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Abstract I have been familiar with the toxicological and epidemiological literature on benzene since I was a member of the NIOSH Benzene Task Force in 1975. I also am familiar with the procedures of IARC Monographs meetings from past participation, and as observer I applied this experience to the Monograph 100 F review. In October of 2009, a Working Group (WG) of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) met in Lyon, France to evaluate the available evidence for site-specific cancer to humans for 33 chemical agents and related occupations previously categorized by IARC as human carcinogens. Generally, review and discussion of the epidemiological cancer literature related to benzene was limited due to the enormous amount of material needing to be covered since the last full monograph meeting on benzene in 1981, and because 32 other chemicals and occupations were also being evaluated. Moreover, among the 33 chemicals and occupations reviewed, there was some inconsistency in the use of studies for evaluating various cancers. In some situations, consideration could have been given to the inclusion of relevant unpublished, but readily available study results. Discussion and synthesis of the animal cancer studies and mechanistic data related to specific cancers also were limited. IARC's conclusion that there is sufficient evidence for benzene to cause acute non-lymphocytic leukemia only was based on an incomplete review. IARC should schedule another monographs meeting dedicated to a complete and full review and discussion of all potential cancers related to exposure to benzene and to benzene-containing mixtures. Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
This article was published in Am J Ind Med
and referenced in Journal of Chemical Engineering & Process Technology