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


VOL.: 1 (1972) (p. 95)

5. Summary of Data Reported and Evaluation

5.1 Animal carcinogenicity data

N-Nitrosodimethylamine (DMN) is carcinogenic in all seven animal species tested. The main target organs are the liver and the kidney. It induces tumours following different routes of administration, including ingestion and inhalation. It is carcinogenic following prenatal exposure and in single-dose experiments. Similarities in metabolism in human and rat liver tissues have been reported.

5.2 Human carcinogenicity data

DMN has been used in the chemical industry. The extent of such use at present is not known.

Many data on occurrence have been obtained by inadequate analytical methods and must await confirmation. Considerable progress has been made in the development of adequate and specific methods for trace analysis of nitrosamines, and reliable information is to be expected in the near future. Recent results, which have been confirmed by mass spectrometry, indicate that DMN does occur in certain food products at the 5-10 ppb level. There is some indication that DMN might be formed from ingested dimethylamine and nitrosating agents in vivo. Both precursors can occur in food.

No long-term follow-up studies of human subjects exposed to DMN are known.

Subsequent evaluations: Vol. 17 (1978); Suppl. 7 (1987) (p. 67: Group 2A)

For definition of Groups, see Preamble Evaluation.

Last updated: 12 March 1998

    See Also:
       Toxicological Abbreviations
       N-nitrosodimethylamine (ICSC)