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


VOL.: 3 (1973) (p. 178)

5. Summary of Data Reported and Evaluation

5.1 Animal carcinogenicity data

Dibenz(a,h)anthracene has produced tumours by different routes of administration in mice, rats, guinea pigs, frogs, pigeons and chickens. It has both local and systemic carcinogenic effects.

On oral administration, it produced tumours of the forestomach in the mouse; intratracheal administration to rats produced lung tumours.

In repeated skin painting experiments in mice, dibenz(a,h)anthracene and benzo(a)pyrene appeared to be equally effective. In a dose-response study on s.c. carcinogenicity with dibenz(a,h)anthracene, benzo(a)pyrene and 3-methylcholanthrene, dibenz(a,h)anthracene was shown to be effective at a lower dose than that effective for benzo(a)pyrene or for 3-methylcholanthrene; its latent period, however, was longer. Dibenz(a,h)anthracene induced local sarcomas and increased the incidence of lung adenomas following a single s.c. injection in newborn mice at dose levels which were ineffective with 3-methylcholanthrene.

It has not been adequately tested in other species.

5.2 Human carcinogenicity data

No case reports or epidemiological studies on the significance of dibenz(a,h)anthracene exposure to man are available. However, coal-tar and other materials which are known to be carcinogenic to man may contain dibenz(a,h)anthracene. The substance has also been detected in other environmental situations. The possible contribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from some environmental sources to the overall carcinogenic risk to man is discussed in the General Remarks.

Subsequent evaluation: Vol. 32 (1983); Suppl. 7 (1987) (p. 61: Group 2A)

For definition of Groups, see Preamble Evaluation.

Last updated: 16 March 1998

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