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


For definition of Groups, see Preamble Evaluation.

VOL.: 71 (1999) (p. 1181)

CAS No.: 88-12-0
Chem. Abstr. Name: 1-Ethenyl-2-pyrrolidinone

5. Summary of Data Reported and Evaluation

5.1 Exposure data

Little information was available to the Working Group regarding potential exposures to N-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone.

5.2 Human carcinogenicity data

No data were available to the Working Group.

5.3 Animal carcinogenicity data

N-Vinyl-2-pyrrolidone was tested for carcinogenicity in one experiment in rats by inhalation exposure. It produced adenomas and adenocarcinomas of the nasal cavity, squamous carcinomas of the larynx and hepatocellular carcinomas in both sexes. Another 12-month inhalation experiment in rats of the same strain indicated occurrence of adenomas of the nasal cavity and foci of cellular alteration of the liver.

Polyvinyl pyrrolidone was tested for carcinogenicity in mice, rats and rabbits by several routes of administration, producing local tumours.

5.4 Other relevant data

N-Vinyl-2-pyrrolidone metabolites and polyvinyl pyrrolidone are excreted mainly in urine. Inhalation of low concentrations of N-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone by rats can cause nasal cavity inflammation, atrophy of olfactory epithelium and hyperplasia of the basal cells of the respiratory and olfactory epithelium. In humans and experimental animals, polyvinyl pyrrolidone accumulates in vacuoles of cells of many organs and, in humans, may be accompanied by pulmonary fibrosis and pneumonia. There have been no genetic toxicity studies with either compound.

5.5 Evaluation

No epidemiological data relevant to the carcinogenicity of N-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone or polyvinyl pyrrolidone were available.

There is limited evidence for the carcinogenicity of N-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone in experimental animals.

There is limited evidence for the carcinogenicity of polyvinyl pyrrolidone in experimental animals.

Overall evaluation

N-Vinyl-2-pyrrolidone is not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans (Group3).

Polyvinyl pyrrolidone is not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans (Group3).

For definition of the italicized terms, see Preamble Evaluation.

Previous evaluations: Vol. 19 (1979); Suppl. 7 (1987)


Last updated: 13 April 1999

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