For definition of Groups, see Preamble Evaluation.
Supplement 7: (1987) (p. 373)
Chem. Abstr. Name: Chloroethene
A. Evidence for carcinogenicity to humans (sufficient)
Vinyl chloride has been associated with tumours of the liver, brain, lung and haematolymphopoietic system [ref: 1]. A large number of epidemiological studies [ref: 2-12] and case reports [ref: 13-25] have substantiated the causal association between vinyl chloride and angiosarcoma of the liver. Several studies also confirm that exposure to vinyl chloride causes other forms of cancer, i.e., hepatocellular carcinoma [ref: 13,19,23,26], brain tumours [ref: 11,27], lung tumours [ref: 12,28-30] and malignancies of the lymphatic and haematopoietic system [ref: 11,29,31]. Exposure to polyvinyl chloride dust was associated with an increased incidence of lung tumours in one study; the authors suggested that trapped vinyl chloride monomer was responsible [ref: 30]. Melanoma occurred in excess in one study [ref: 12] but has not been mentioned in others. Slightly elevated risks for gastric [ref: 29] and gastrointestinal cancer (other than liver cancer) [ref: 32] were indicated in some studies, but these were not confirmed in others.
B. Evidence for carcinogenicity to animals (sufficient)
Vinyl chloride administered orally or by inhalation to mice, rats and hamsters produced tumours in the mammary gland, lung, Zymbal gland and skin and angiosarcomas of the liver [ref: 1]. Similar findings were made in more recent studies [ref: 33-39]. In one, a combination of oral administration of ethanol and inhalation of vinyl chloride resulted in more liver tumours (including angiosarcomas) than after treatment with vinyl chloride alone [ref: 40].
C. Other relevant data
Chromosomal aberrations were induced in peripheral blood lymphocytes of workers exposed to vinyl chloride at levels of 5-500 ppm (13-1300 mg/m3). Two studies reported negative results for sister chromatid exchanges in exposed workers, while in another study a weakly positive response was found [ref: 41].
Vinyl chloride induced chromosomal aberrations, sister chromatid exchanges and micronuclei in rodents exposed in vivo but did not induce mutation in the mouse spot test or dominant lethal mutations in rats or mice. It alkylated DNA in several tissues of mice and rats exposed in vivo. Vinyl chloride induced sister chromatid exchanges in human lymphocytes in vitro. It induced mutation in Chinese hamster cells and unscheduled DNA synthesis in rat hepatocytes in vitro and induced transformation in BALB/c 3T3 cells and virus-infected Syrian hamster cells. It induced sex-linked recessive lethal mutations, but not aneuploidy, heritable translocations or dominant lethal mutations in Drosophila. It was mutagenic to plants and to Schizosaccharomyces pombe but not to other fungi; it induced gene conversion in yeast. It caused DNA damage and mutation in bacteria. Vinyl chloride bound covalently to isolated DNA in the presence of a metabolic system [ref: 41].
Vinyl chloride is carcinogenic to humans (Group 1).
For definition of the italicized terms, see Preamble Evaluation.
Also see previous evaluations: Vol. 7 (1974); Vol. 19 (1979)
1. IARC Monographs, 19, 377-438, 1979
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41. IARC Monographs, Suppl. 6, 566-569, 1987
See Also: Toxicological Abbreviations Vinyl Chloride (EHC 215, 1999) Vinyl Chloride (HSG 109, 1999) Vinyl chloride (ICSC) Vinyl chloride (WHO Food Additives Series 19) VINYL CHLORIDE (JECFA Evaluation) Vinyl chloride (PIM 558) Vinyl Chloride (IARC Summary & Evaluation, Volume 7, 1974)