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


VOL.: 32 (1983) (p. 299)

CAS No.: 53-70-3
Chem. Abstr. Name: Dibenz(a,h)anthracene

5. Summary of Data Reported and Evaluation

5.1 Experimental data

Dibenz[a,h]anthracene has been shown to be carcinogenic to experimental animals.

Dibenz[a,h]anthracene is embryotoxic to rats when given at high doses. The available data on teratogenicity were inadequate for evaluation

Dibenz[a,h]anthracene was positive in differential survival assays using DNA-repair-proficient/-deficient strains of bacteria and was mutagenic to Salmonella typhimurium in the presence of an exogenous metabolic system. In cultured mammalian cells, dibenz[a,h]anthracene was mutagenic and induced unscheduled DNA synthesis in the presence of an exogenous metabolic system. It was positive in assays for morphological transformation. In the one available study, it induced sister chromatid exchange but not chromosomal aberrations in vivo.

There is sufficient evidence that dibenz[a,h]anthracene is active in short-term tests.

5.2 Human data

Dibenz[a,h]anthracene is present as a minor component of the total content of polynuclear aromatic compounds in the environment. Human exposure to dibenz[a,h]anthracene occurs primarily through the smoking of tobacco, inhalation of polluted air and by ingestion of food and water contaminated with combustion products.

5.3 Evaluation

There is sufficient evidence that dibenz[a,h]anthracene is carcinogenic to experimental animals.

For definition of the italicized terms, see Preamble Evaluation.

Previous evaluation: Vol. 3 (1973)

Subsequent evaluation: Suppl. 7 (1987) (p. 58: Group 2A)


Last updated: 17 April 1998

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       Toxicological Abbreviations