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Pharmacol Ther. 2014 Jan;141(1):55-68. doi: 10.1016/j.pharmthera.2013.08.004. Epub 2013 Aug 23.

Trichloroethylene: Mechanistic, epidemiologic and other supporting evidence of carcinogenic hazard.

Author information

1
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA. Electronic address: iir@unc.edu.
2
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, USA.
3
Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI, USA.
4
Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
5
Danish Cancer Society Research Center, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Abstract

The chlorinated solvent trichloroethylene (TCE) is a ubiquitous environmental pollutant. The carcinogenic hazard of TCE was the subject of a 2012 evaluation by a Working Group of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Information on exposures, relevant data from epidemiologic studies, bioassays in experimental animals, and toxicity and mechanism of action studies was used to conclude that TCE is carcinogenic to humans (Group 1). This article summarizes the key evidence forming the scientific bases for the IARC classification. Exposure to TCE from environmental sources (including hazardous waste sites and contaminated water) is common throughout the world. While workplace use of TCE has been declining, occupational exposures remain of concern, especially in developing countries. The strongest human evidence is from studies of occupational TCE exposure and kidney cancer. Positive, although less consistent, associations were reported for liver cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. TCE is carcinogenic at multiple sites in multiple species and strains of experimental animals. The mechanistic evidence includes extensive data on the toxicokinetics and genotoxicity of TCE and its metabolites. Together, available evidence provided a cohesive database supporting the human cancer hazard of TCE, particularly in the kidney. For other target sites of carcinogenicity, mechanistic and other data were found to be more limited. Important sources of susceptibility to TCE toxicity and carcinogenicity were also reviewed by the Working Group. In all, consideration of the multiple evidence streams presented herein informed the IARC conclusions regarding the carcinogenicity of TCE.

KEYWORDS:

Cancer; Human; Kidney; Mechanisms; Metabolism; Trichloroethylene

PMID:
23973663
PMCID:
PMC3867557
DOI:
10.1016/j.pharmthera.2013.08.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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