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

(Group 3)

For definition of Groups, see Preamble Evaluation.

VOL.: 71 (1999) (p. 367)

CAS No.: 96-48-0
Chem. Abstr. Name: Dihydro-2(3-H)-furanone

5. Summary of Data Reported and Evaluation

5.1 Exposure data

Exposure to g-butyrolactone may occur in its production and use as an intermediate and as a solvent. It has been detected in alcoholic beverages, tobacco smoke, coffee and several foodstuffs.

5.2 Human carcinogenicity data

No adequate data were available to the Working Group.

5.3 Animal carcinogenicity data

g-Butyrolactone was tested for carcinogenicity in two studies in mice and two studies in rats by oral administration. It was also tested in mice by skin application in two studies and by subcutaneous injection in mice and rats in single studies. No carcinogenic effect was observed.

5.4 Other relevant data

g-Butyrolactone rapidly hydrolyses in blood to g-hydroxybutyric acid. g-Butyrolactone has been extensively studied in in-vitro genetic toxicity tests in which the overwhelming majority of results did not indicate activity. Positive results were obtained in one study for chromosomal aberrations and sister chromatid exchanges in a Chinese hamster cell line. No mutagenic activity was observed in vivo in Drosophila or in mouse bone marrow micronucleus tests.

5.5 Evaluation

There is inadequate evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of g-butyrolactone.

There is evidence suggesting lack of carcinogenicity of g-butyrolactone in experimental animals.

Overall evaluation

g-Butyrolactone is not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans (Group 3).

For definition of the italicized terms, see Preamble Evaluation.

Previous evaluations: Vol. 11 (1976); Suppl. 7 (1987)


Last updated: 12 April 1999

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       Toxicological Abbreviations