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

(Group 3)

For definition of Groups, see Preamble Evaluation.

VOL.: 51 (1991) (p. 443)

CAS No.: 78-98-8
Chem. Abstr. Name: 2-Oxopropanal

5. Summary of Data Reported and Evaluation

5.1 Exposure data

Methylglyoxal is present in many foods and drinks, including coffee, and is produced during glycolysis and sugar fermentation. It is produced by many strains of bacteria present in the intestinal tract. It is also present in tobacco smoke.

5.2 Experimental carcinogenicity data

No adequate study was available for the evaluation of methylglyoxal.

5.3 Human carcinogenicity data

No data were available to the Working Group.

5.4 Other relevant data

Methylglyoxal induced sister chromatid exchange, chromosomal aberrations and micronuclei in cultured human cells. It induced sister chromatid exchange and gene mutations in cultured mammalian cells. In yeast, it increased the frequencies of reverse mutations and of mitotic gene conversion. In prokaryotes, methylglyoxal was mutagenic in the absence of an exogenous metabolic system. Methylglyoxal forms adducts with guanine bases and nucleic acids.

5.5 Evaluation

There are no data on the carcinogenicity in humans of methylglyoxal.

There is inadequate evidence in experimental animals for the carcinogenicity of methylglyoxal.

Overall evaluation

Methylglyoxal is not classifiable as to its carcinogencity to humans (Group 3).

For definition of the italicized terms, see Preamble Evaluation.


Last updated: 17 November 1997

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       Toxicological Abbreviations