International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) - Summaries & Evaluations

(Group 1)

For definition of Groups, see Preamble Evaluation.

Supplement 7: (1987) (p. 173)

A. Evidence for carcinogenicity to humans (sufficient)

Case reports of tumours of the skin (including the scrotum), bladder and respiratory tract in association with employment in industries involving the destructive distillation of coal suggested a link between work in that industry and human cancer. Descriptive epidemiological studies based on death certificates corroborated these early suggestions [ref: 1].

A series of detailed analytical epidemiological studies of the British gas industry add further weight to the hypothesis that work in such coal gasification plants carries a risk for tumours of the lung, bladder and scrotum. There appeared to be a relationship between elevated relative risk of tumours and work in retort houses, particularly when the job had entailed exposure to fumes emanating from the retorts [ref: 1].

B. Other relevant data

No data were available to the Working Group.

Overall evaluation

Coal gasification is carcinogenic to humans (Group 1).

For definition of the italicized terms, see Preamble Evaluation.

Also see previous evaluation: Vol. 34 (1984)


1. IARC Monographs, 34, 65-99, 1984

Last updated: 9 February 1998

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       Toxicological Abbreviations