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


VOL.: 20 (1979) (p. 283)

CAS No.: 2385-85-5
Chem. Abstr. Name: 1,1a,2,2,3,3a,4,5,5,5a,5b,6-Dodecachlorooctahydro-1,3,4-metheno-1H-

5. Summary of Data Reported and Evaluation

5.1 Experimental data

Mirex has been tested in one experiment in two strains of mice and in one experiment in rats by oral administration. It has also been tested in two strains of mice by subcutaneous injection of single doses. In the studies using oral administration, it produced benign and malignant liver tumours in mice and rats of both sexes. An excess of liver tumours was also found in males of one of the two strains of mice following a single subcutaneous injection; this experiment also suggested that it produced reticulum-cell sarcomas in males of both strains.

Mirex is foetotoxic and produces teratogenic effects. It was negative in a dominant lethal assay in mice.

5.2 Human data

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

The extensive production and the widespread use of mirex since the late 1950s, together with the persistent nature of the compound, indicate that widespread human exposure has occurred. This is confirmed by many reports of its occurrence in the general environment and by its presence in human fat.

5.3 Evaluation

There is sufficient evidence that mirex is carcinogenic in mice and rats. In the absence of adequate data in humans, it is reasonable, for practical purposes, to regard mirex as if it presented a carcinogenic risk to humans.

Previous evaluation: Vol. 5 (1974)

Subsequent evaluation: Suppl. 7 (1987) (p. 66: Group 2B)

For definition of terms, see Preamble Evaluation.


Last updated: 31 March 1998

    See Also:
       Toxicological Abbreviations
       Mirex (EHC 44, 1984)
       Mirex (HSG 39, 1990)
       Mirex (IARC Summary & Evaluation, Volume 5, 1974)