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IARC: Insecticide Pentachlorophenol Is a Carcinogen
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified the insecticide pentachlorophenol as a Group 1 carcinogen, the agency’s designation for agents that carry sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in humans. According to a summary of IARC’s evaluation, the production and use of pentachlorophenol, which has also been widely used as a wood preservative, are now restricted. However, the agency notes that the general population can still be exposed to pentachlorophenol from treated wood products, contaminated food and water, and incinerator emissions. The summary discusses “sufficient evidence” of pentachlorophenol’s carcinogenicity in humans and experimental animals, and states that exposure to pentachlorophenol was associated with an increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in all of the available epidemiological studies. Examples of workers exposed to pentachlorophenol include sawmill workers and pesticide manufacturing workers.
The summary of IARC’s evaluation is available online in The Lancet Oncology. The full article is available free of charge to registered users.
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