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


VOL.: 18 (1978) (p. 107)

5. Summary of Data Reported and Evaluation

5.1 Experimental data

Only one commercial preparation of polybrominated biphenyls (Firemaster FF-1), composed primarily of penta-, hexa- and heptabrominated congeners, was tested in one experiment in rats by oral administration of single doses. Although neoplastic changes of the liver were reported, the study was considered to be inadequate.

Firemaster FF-1 is embryotoxic and teratogenic. Cytogenetic tests in mice were negative.

5.2 Human data

No case reports or epidemiological studies were available to the Working Group.

The extensive production of polybrominated biphenyls during the last decade, their persistence in the environment and in the body, and their use, mainly as flame retardants, indicate that widespread human exposure occurs. This is confirmed by their presence in water and food and in human tissues and body fluids.

5.3 Evaluation

No evaluation of the carcinogenicity of polybrominated biphenyls could be made on the basis of the available data.

Subsequent evaluations: Vol. 41 (1986); Suppl. 7 (1987)

Last updated: 27 March 1998

    See Also:
       Toxicological Abbreviations
       Polybrominated biphenyls (EHC 152, 1994)
       Polybrominated Biphenyls  (IARC Summary & Evaluation, Supplement7, 1987)
       Polybrominated Biphenyls (IARC Summary & Evaluation, Volume 41, 1986)