February 22, 2024

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Evaluation of the carcinogenicity of organic fluorine compounds raised by WHO subsidiary

Evaluation of the carcinogenicity of organic fluorine compounds raised by WHO subsidiary



Evaluation of the carcinogenicity of organic fluorine compounds raised by WHO subsidiary

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a subsidiary of the World Health Organization (WHO), has announced an elevated assessment of the carcinogenicity of internationally regulated organic fluorine compounds, specifically PFOA and PFOS.

Evaluation of the carcinogenicity of organic fluorine compounds raised by WHO subsidiary

PFOA has been classified as the highest level of carcinogenicity for humans (“Group 1”), while PFOS has been categorized as the third level with the possibility of being carcinogenic to humans (“Group 2B”).

This classification indicates the strength of evidence that these substances may be a cause of human cancer. Group 1 includes substances such as asbestos, tobacco, alcoholic beverages, and cadmium, while Group 2B includes substances like gasoline.

The decision to raise the evaluation for PFOA is based on data from animal experiments, which showed a correlation between the administration of PFOA to rats and the occurrence of liver cell cancer, among other factors. Additionally, research results have demonstrated characteristics associated with carcinogenicity in relation to humans and human cells. For PFOS, evidence is rooted in indications of oxidative stress that damages genes in human cells.

Carcinogenic PFOA: 418 Times Detected in Japan Workers’ Blood

Epidemiological studies on humans have reported an increased risk of renal cell cancer and testicular cancer associated with PFOA, although the evidence is considered limited. Insufficient evidence is cited for other types of cancer. Similarly, evidence is considered insufficient for PFOS.

PFOA and PFOS have been detected in rivers, groundwater, and even in human blood, particularly in areas around U.S. military bases in Japan and factories that produced these compounds. These compounds, known for their water and oil repellent properties as well as heat resistance, have been widely used in everyday products and industrial applications, including waterproofing packaging paper, fabric, semiconductor manufacturing processes, and firefighting foam. Due to their persistence in the environment and difficulty in breaking down, these substances are subject to international regulation under the Stockholm Convention as candidates for “elimination,” leading to their prohibition in principle for manufacturing and importation domestically.

On December 5th, the Cabinet Office’s Food Safety Commission published a Q&A on its website regarding the IARC’s evaluation results, providing information to the public.

What are the health impacts of PFAS?

Evaluation of the carcinogenicity of organic fluorine compounds raised by WHO subsidiary


(source:internet, reference only)

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