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1 February 2005


This article is a correction of
Listing Occupational Carcinogens.
Publication: Environmental Health Perspectives
Volume 113, Issue 2
Page A89
Siemiatycki et al. have detected some errors in their review of occupational carcinogens published in the November 2004 issue of EHP [ Environ Health Perspect 112:1447–1459 (2004)]. Specifically, they inadvertently included in their list of Group 2B (possible) carcinogens some substances that had been downgraded to Group 3 (not classifiable) in a subsequent IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) Monograph. Their corrections are as follows:
On page 1449, 3rd column, “113 possible human occupational carcinogens (IARC Group 2B; Table 5)” should be replaced by “110 possible human occupational carcinogens (IARC Group 2B; Table 5).”
On page 1454, Table 5 (under “Respirable dusts and fibers”), glass wool, rock wool, and slag wool fireproofing should not have appeared in the listing of Group 2B human carcinogens because they were downgraded to Group 3 in the latest monograph to address these substances (IARC 2002a); special purpose glass fibers such as E-glass and “475” glass fibers are not used in the “Reinforced plastic industry” but rather in “High-efficiency air filtration media and battery separator media” (IARC 2002a). A corrected version of this section of Table 5 is presented below.
On page 1459, Table 8, as a result of the previous corrections, the last section of Table 8 (Current rating 2B) should be modified as follows: the total number of substances with this rating should read 110 instead of 113; the number of substances unrated by IARC in 1987 should read 36 instead of 39; and the number of substances unrated by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1964 should read 104 instead of 107. A corrected version of Table 8 is presented below.
Siemiatycki et al.’s review of the IARC Monographs was intended to cover volumes 1–83. With these corrections, the tables and text are complete.
Table 5 Substances and mixtures that have been evaluated by IARC as possible (Group 2B) human carcinogens and that are occupational exposures [corrected section only].
Substance or mixtureOccupation or industry in which the substance is foundaIARC Monograph volume (year)bHuman evidencecAnimal evidencec
Respirable dusts and fibers
 Palygorskite (long fibers > 5 μm)Miners and millers; production of waste absorbents, fertilizers, and pesticidesVol. 68 (1997b)InadequateSufficient
 Refractory ceramic fibersProduction; furnace insulators; ship builders; heat-resistant fabric manufactureVol. 81 (2002a)InadequateSufficient
 Special-purpose glass fibers such as E-glass and “475” glass fibersHigh-efficiency air filtration media; battery separator mediaVol. 81 (2002a)Not availableSufficient
Table 8 Evolution in knowledge regarding current (2003) IARC occupational carcinogens (corrected version).
 Earlier evaluation
Current ratingPast ratingIARC 1987 WHO 1964
1 (n = 28)119 13
 30 NA
 Unrated4 11
 Total28 28
2A (n = 27)10 0
 32 NA
 Unrated3 27
 Total27 27
2B (n = 110)10 1
 39 NA
 Unrated36 104
 Total110 110
NA, not applicable.


IARC 1987. Overall Evaluations of Carcinogenicity: An Updating of IARC Monographs Volumes 1 to 42. IARC Monogr Eval Carcinog Risk Chem Hum (suppl 7).
IARC 1997b. Silica, Some Silicates, Coal Dust and Para-aramid Fibrils. IARC Monogr Eval Carcinog Risks Hum 68.
IARC 2002a. Man-Made Vitreous Fibres. IARC Monogr Eval Carcinog Risks Hum 81.
WHO 1964. Prevention of Cancer. Report of a WHO Committee. Technical Report Series 276. Geneva:World Health Organization.

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Published In

Environmental Health Perspectives
Volume 113Issue 2February 2005
Pages: A89


Published online: 1 February 2005


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