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

(Group 3)

For definition of Groups, see Preamble Evaluation.

VOL.: 73 (1999) (p. 37)

CAS No.: 57-06-7
Chem. Abstr. Name: 3-Isothiocyanato-1-propene

5. Summary of Data Reported and Evaluation

5.1 Exposure data

Exposure to allyl isothiocyanate occurs as a result of its presence in foods as the chief constituent of mustard oil and as a flavouring agent.

5.2 Human carcinogenicity data

No data were available to the Working Group.

5.3 Animal carcinogenicity data

Allyl isothiocyanate was tested for carcinogenicity in one experiment in mice and one experiment in rats by oral administration. No increase in tumour incidence was observed in mice. An increased but low incidence of transitional-cell hyperplasia and papillomas of the urinary bladder was observed in male rats, and there was a low incidence of subcutaneous fibrosarcomas in female rats given the high dose.

5.4 Other relevant data

Major sex- and species-related differences in the tissue distribution of allyl isothiocyanate were restricted to the urinary bladder, where higher concentrations of allyl isothiocyanate-derived radiolabel were found in the bladders of male rats than in mice or female rats. Rodents and humans both metabolize allyl isothiocyanate to N-acetyl-S-(N-allyl thiocarbamoyl)-L-cysteine. Allyl isothiocyanate appears to be an irritant in both rodents and humans.

Allyl isothiocyanate was not teratogenic to mice, rats, hamsters or rabbits, but resorptions were seen in mice and rats.

No data were available on the genetic and related effects of allyl isothiocyanate in humans. The available data do not allow a conclusion about the genotoxicity of allyl isothiocyanate in expertimental systems in vivo. There is evidence for genotoxic effects in mammalian cells in vitro. It was not mutagenic to bacteria.

5.5 Evaluation

There is inadequate evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of allyl isothiocyanate.

There is limited evidence in experimental animals for the carcinogenicity of allyl isothiocyanate.

Overall evaluation

Allyl isothiocyanate is not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans (Group 3).

For definition of the italicized terms, see Preamble Evaluation.

Previous evaluations: Vol. 36 (1985); Suppl. 7 (1987) (p. 56)


Last updated: 1 October 1999

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       Toxicological Abbreviations