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 Cancer: New Federal "Report on Carcinogens" Lists Steroidal Estrogens Used in Estrogen Replacement Therapy to List of Known Human Carcinogens 
National Institutes of Health ©

As for the other common use for steroidal estrogens, the report says the evidence suggests estrogen-containing oral contraceptives may be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer but may protect against ovarian and endometrial cancers.

BROAD SPECTRUM ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION (UVR). UVR is produced by the sun as part of solar radiation and by artificial sources such as sun lamps and tanning beds, in medical diagnosis and treatment procedures, and in industry for promoting polymerization reactions. The report cites data indicating a cause-and-effect relationship between this radiation and skin cancer, cancer of the lip and melanoma of the eye. The report goes on to say that skin cancers are observed with increasing duration of exposure and for those who experience sunburn. The individual components of UVR, which includes ultraviolet A, ultraviolet B and ultraviolet C radiation, are listed in the report, not as "known", but as "reasonably anticipated" human carcinogens -- See below.

WOOD DUST. Listed as a "known human carcinogen" in this report, wood dust is created when machines and tools cut, shape and finish wood. Wood dust is particularly prevalent in sawmills, furniture manufacture and cabinet making. According to the report, unprotected workers have a higher risk of cancers of the nasal cavities and sinuses.

NICKEL COMPOUNDS. Used in many industrial applications as catalysts and in batteries, pigments and ceramics, the report newly lists nickel compounds as "known" human carcinogens based on studies of workers showing excess deaths from lung and nasal cancers and on their mechanisms of action.

One group of substances was upgraded from "reasonably anticipated" to "known" human carcinogen:

BERYLLIUM AND BERYLLIUM COMPOUNDS. About 800,000 workers are exposed via inhalation of beryllium dust or dermal contact with products containing beryllium. Workers with the highest potential for exposure include beryllium miners, beryllium alloy makers and fabricators, ceramics workers, missile technicians, nuclear reactor workers, electric and electronic equipment workers, and jewelers. According to data cited in the report, they have higher risks for lung cancer which increase with their exposures and which cannot be explained by tobacco smoking or other occupational exposures.


IQ, or 2-amino-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoline, which is formed during direct cooking with high heat of foods such as meats and eggs and also found in cigarette smoke, is listed as "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen" based on long-term animal studies. The report also states there are several published human studies that suggest there is an increased risk for breast and colorectal cancers related to consumption of broiled or fried foods that may contain IQ and/or other similar compounds formed during cooking at high temperatures.

2,2-Bis-(BROMOMETHYL)-1,3-PROPANEDIOL (TECHNICAL GRADE), a flame retardant chemical used to make some polyester resins and rigid polyurethane foam is listed as "reasonably anticipated" based on long-term animal feeding studies.

ULTRAVIOLET A, ULTRAVIOLET B AND ULTRAVIOLET C RADIATION, are listed as "reasonably anticipated to be human carcinogens" because, according to the report, animal studies show a cause-and-effect relationship between exposure to each of these wavelength groups of broad spectrum ultraviolet radiation (UVR) and skin cancer. The report points out that the data on skin cancer in humans for these different wavelengths of UVR are limited, because it has been impossible to determine if the people in these studies were exposed to "pure" individual components of UVR or, as is more likely the case, to "mixtures" of the different components thus making it impossible to say that the observed skin cancers were due only to one of the "pure" individual components.

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