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CHEMICAL CARCINOGENS What is a carcinogen? Any substance that is capable of causing cancer. ... Ionizing radiation Natural products (progesterone, safrole) ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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What is a carcinogen?
  • Any substance that is capable of causing cancer.
  • Cancer is the abnormal or uncontrolled growth of
    new cells in any part of the body, characterized
    by cells that tend to invade surrounding tissue
    and metastasize to new body sites.
  • Carcinogens are chronic toxins. They cause
    damage after repeated or long-duration exposure.
    They may have not immediate apparent harmful
    effects, with cancer developing only after a long
    latency period.

What are reproductive toxins?
  • Mutagens cause damage to chromo-somes
    by introducing changes to DNA.
  • Mutagens have adverse effects on fertility and
    general reproductive performance.
  • Mutagens are chronic toxins
  • Teratogens act during pregnancy to
    cause adverse effects on the embryo or fetus
    including malformations, retarded growth and
    post- natal deficiencies.
  • Reproductive toxins can affect both men and women.

What materials are carcinogens?
  • Asbestos
  • Certain chemicals
  • Coal tars and coke oven emissions
  • Hardwood sawdust (certain species)
  • Ionizing radiation
  • Natural products (progesterone, safrole)
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Ultraviolet radiation

What is a chemical carcinogen?
  • Any discrete chemical compound which has been
    shown to cause cancer in human or animal studies.
  • Hundreds of individual compounds have been shown
    to induce cancers. Many thousands of additional
    compounds are suspect carcinogens.
  • Many are commonly used in laboratory operations,
    shops and art studios.

How is chemical carcinogenicity determined?
  • Epidemiological studies determine the
    relationship between a cancer suspect chemical
    and a human population over a long period of
  • Animal studies directly induce cancer in test
    animals using a large sample of animals, usually
    of two or more species with varying dose and time
  • Experiments with animals are based on the premise
    that chemicals that produce cancer in animals
    will have similar effects on human cells. Most
    known human carcinogens produce cancer in
    experimental animals.

What is an OSHA select carcinogen?
  • Any substance that is regulated by OSHA as a
  • It is listed under the category know to be
    carcinogens in the Annual Report on Carcinogens
    published by the National Toxicology Program
  • It is listed under Group 1 (carcinogenic to
    humans) by the International Agency for Research
    on Cancer (IARC).
  • It is listed in either Group 2A (limited
    evidence of carcinogenicity from human studies)
    or 2B (sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity
    from animal studies) by IARC or under the
    category reasonably anticipated to be
    carcinogens by NTP. (A specified dose range is

Which classes of chemicals tend to be carcinogens?
  • Epoxides Ethylene oxide Propylene oxide
  • Organohalogen comp. Vinyl chloride Carbon
    tetrachloride Chloroform Hexachlorobenzene Trichl
  • Hydrazines Hydrazine (and salts) 1,2-Dimethylhy
  • N-Nitroso compounds N-Nitrosodimethylamine
  • Aromatic Amines Benzidine Aniline o-Anisidine
  • Aromatic hydrocarbons Benzene Benzaanthracene

Classes of carcinogens (cont.)
  • Misc. organic compounds Formaldehyde Acetaldehyd
    e 1,4-Dioxane Ethyl carbamate 2-Nitropropane S
    tyrene Thiourea Thioacetamide
  • Misc. inorganic comp. Arsenic and
    compounds Chromium and comp. Thorium
    dioxide Beryllium and compounds Cadmium and
    compounds Lead and compounds Nickel and
    compounds Selenium sulfide

How do carcinogens enter the body?
  • Skin absorption. Many solvents and other
    chemicals go directly through the skin.
  • Ingestion. Swallowing of a carcinogen.
  • Inhalation. Breathing gases, fumes and vapors is
    the most common form of exposure.

What organs to carcinogens attack?
  • Lungs
  • Liver
  • Kidney
  • Reproductive system
  • Skin
  • Many other organs and tissues

What factors influence the development of cancer?
  • Dose--amount and length of exposure. The lower
    the dose the least likely you are to develop
    cancer or related diseases.
  • Environmental or lifestyle factors.
  • Cigarette smoking (co-carcinogen)
  • Alcohol consumption (co-carcinogen)
  • Diet--high fat consumption, natural antioxidants
  • Geographic location--industrial areas, UV light
  • Therapeutic drugs--some are known carcinogens
  • Inherited conditions

How do I reduce my exposure to carcinogens?
  • Engineering controls--exhaust ventilation and
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Personal hygiene
  • Labeling and storage of containers
  • Housekeeping and maintenance
  • Regulated areas
  • Decontamination and emergency procedures
  • Monitoring
  • Administrative controls

Engineering controls--exhaust ventilation and
  • General room ventilation--10 or more changes of
    air per hour. Designed to reduce exposures below
    the permissible exposure limit (PEL). Many
    carcinogens have a very low exposure limit. Use
    an ALARA policy.
  • Fume hoods--full open face velocity of 8o to 100
    l.f.p.m.. combined with a dry ice capture test.
  • Local ventilation--exhaust (sometimes supply) at
    the point of use of a chemical. Elephant trunk
    or slot hood.
  • Carcinogen glove box or environmental chamber.
  • Biosafety cabinet--used for anticancer drugs,
  • No benchtop work in a laboratory setting.

Personal protective equipment
  • Respiratory protection--dust masks, respirators.
    Respirators are primarily for use in non-lab
    areas, except for emergency response (spill
    cleanup)--shops, floor stripping, construction
    operations (painting).
  • Eye protection--safety glasses, splash goggles,
    face shields.
  • Hand protection--gloves, protective sleeves.
  • Protective clothing--lab coats, aprons, Tyvek
  • OSHA standards for personal protective equipment
    supersede other OSHA standards.

Personal hygiene
  • No smoking, eating, drinking or application of
    cosmetics is permitted in areas where carcinogens
    are in use (or in any lab area!). No mouth
  • Wash hands and any exposed skin if potentially
    contaminated--face, neck, forearms, etc.
  • No shorts or open toed shoes.
  • Remove lab coat or other potentially contaminated
    protective clothing before leaving the work area.
    Lab coats need to be cleaned regularly special
    washing instructions may be needed. Contaminated
    disposable clothing should be treated as
    hazardous waste

Labeling of containers
  • All containers of chemical carcinogens need to
    have a warning label affixed to them. A
    Right-to-Know (RTK) style label must be on any
    container of material that is repackaged or made
    into a solution more than 0.1.
  • All areas where carcinogens may be used, present
    or stored should have prominently displayed
    warning signs or labels both in the areas and
    access to them.. Some warning signs and labels
    are described by specific standards.
  • DANGER--Contains ___________

Storage of containers
  • Carcinogens must be stored separately from other
  • Separated by shelving system or secondary
  • Secondary containment means placing chemical
    containers in an outer container to prevent the
    release of a chemical in the event that its
    container breaks or ruptures.
  • Desiccators, plastic boxes, bottle-in-can are
    acceptable secondary containment.
  • Storage areas must be labeled Danger--Carcinogens
    Stored Here.

Housekeeping and maintenance
  • Keep all work surfaces and equipment clean.
  • Dry sweeping or compressed air cleaning of floors
    or work surfaces is prohibited.
  • Dry cleaning of surfaces and equipment must be
    done by vacuum systems with high-efficiency
  • All contaminated floor sweepings, debris (paper
    towels, Kimwipes, plasticware), discarded filters
    from respirators or vacuums must be bagged,
    properly labeled and sent out for incineration.

Regulated areas
  • Establish regulated or designated areas for the
    use of carcinogens. (Required in Lab Standard.)
  • Locations where entry and exit or use of an area
    is restricted to the use of carcinogens.
  • Only authorized persons trained in the use of the
    carcinogens present may use these areas when such
    materials are in use.
  • Regulated areas are usually under negative
    pressure (fume hood) to contain carcinogens in
    the hood or room.

Decontamination and emergency procedures
  • Safety shower and eyewash station nearby.
  • Special solutions or solvents on hand if required
    for decontamination of skin, eyes.
  • Spill mixtures and cleanup materials for spills
    on hand.
  • All used spill cleanup materials must be treated
    as hazardous waste.
  • Respirator may be needed for spill cleanup.
  • Any incidental spill may be cleaned up by the
    lab staff larger spills may require a emergency
    response (5-1111).
  • Fire extinguisher at hand as required. Training
  • Written emergency response plan. Training

  • If there is reason to believe that a PEL may be
    exceeded then personal exposure monitoring is
    required. This may be done by EHS staff.
    Personnel monitoring with sample pumps or badges.
  • Area monitoring may be required in some cases.
  • Medical monitoring may be required if it is
    anticipated that PELs may be exceeded.
    Examination by a physician, blood tests, etc.
    Required whenever there is a spill or other
  • Results of monitoring must be supplied to the
  • Records of exposures,. monitoring, and medical
    exams must be kept for 30 years.

Administrative controls
  • Material Safety Data Sheets and other
  • Training--all employees using carcinogens must be
    trained in the recognition of the physical and
    health hazards associated with the carcinogens
    they are working with, methods to detect the
    presence or release of a carcinogen and ways to
    protect themselves from exposure to the
    carcinogens with which they are working.
  • Specialized training may be required for specific
  • Written exposure control plans, if required.
  • Limitations on the duration of exposure.

How do I dispose of waste carcinogens?
  • With very few exceptions (dilute formaldehyde
    solutions) carcinogens may never be discharged to
    the sanitary sewer.
  • Carcinogens may never be disposed of in the
    ordinary trash.
  • Waste bottles must be properly labeled, tightly
    capped at all times (except when adding or
    removing waste) and they must have secondary
    containment. See section 7.9-11 of the CHP for
    waste bottle labeling instructions. Check
    Poison on the waste label.
  • Dry wastes must be incinerated or shipped out as
    regulated medical waste (chemotheraputic

How do I reduce my inventory and level of waste
  • Plan the use of carcinogens carefully. Do not
    make more stock solutions than are required.
  • Substitute less hazardous materials for
    carcinogens whenever possible toluene instead of
  • Purchase carcinogens in the smallest possible
  • Do not allow inventories to accumulate. Place no
    longer needed materials in a recycling program or
    dispose of as waste.
  • Detoxify carcinogens as part of your research
    protocols. Formaldehyde is easily detoxified by
    NH4OH, for example.

The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)
  • Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) relevant to
    safety and health considerations need to be
    developed when carcinogens are in use. An SOP
    may be developed for an individual carcinogen, a
    process or a class of chemicals.
  • An SOP must contain the following The name and
    location of the chemical, purchasing and usage
    authoriza-tion, training requirements, location
    of use, PPE required, methods of waste disposal,
    decontamination, first aid measures, spill
    control, emergency phone numbers and any other
    relevant information.
  • Employees must be trained in the content of the

The End
  • There are old researchers and there are bold
    researchers, but there are no old, bold
  • Anon.