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

(Group 2B)

For definition of Groups, see Preamble Evaluation.

Vol.: 65 (1996) (p. 437)

CAS No.: 509-14-8
Chem. Abstr. Name: Tetranitromethane

5. Summary of Data Reported and Evaluation

5.1 Exposure data

Tetranitromethane is produced commercially by nitration of acetic anhydride or acetylene. Tetranitromethane has been used as an oxidizer in rocket propellants and explosives. Few data are available on human exposure to tetranitromethane.

5.2 Human carcinogenicity data

No data were available to the Working Group.

5.3 Animal carcinogenicity data

Tetranitromethane was tested for carcinogenicity in one study in mice and in one study in rats by inhalation exposure. The incidence of alveolar-bronchiolar adenomas and carcinomas was markedly increased in treated mice and rats, and the incidence of squamous-cell carcinomas of the lung was increased in treated rats.

5.4 Other relevant data

No human or experimental animal data were available to the Working Group on the absorption, distribution, metabolism or excretion of tetranitromethane.

No human data were available on the toxic effects of tetranitromethane.

Tetranitromethane induced lethargy, reduced body-weight gain and inflammatory changes in the upper and lower respiratory tract of rats and mice.

Tetranitromethane is genotoxic in bacteria and cultured mammalian cells. Tumours from tetranitromethane-treated rats and mice had a GC:AT transition in the second base of codon 12 of the K-ras oncogene.

5.5 Evaluation

There is inadequate evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of tetranitromethane.

There is sufficient evidence in experimental animals for the carcinogenicity of tetranitromethane.

Overall evaluation

Tetranitromethane is possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B).

For definition of the italicized terms, see Preamble Evaluation.


Last updated 08/14/1997

    See Also:
       Toxicological Abbreviations
       Tetranitromethane (ICSC)