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Arch Toxicol. 2016 Oct;90(10):2349-67. doi: 10.1007/s00204-016-1770-3. Epub 2016 Jun 29.

Carcinogenic compounds in alcoholic beverages: an update.

Author information

1
Chemisches und Veterinäruntersuchungsamt (CVUA) Karlsruhe, Weissenburger Strasse 3, 76187, Karlsruhe, Germany.
2
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), 33 Russell Street, Toronto, ON, M5S 2S1, Canada.
3
Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute, CAMH, 250 College Street, Toronto, ON, M5T 1R8, Canada.
4
Institute of Medical Science (IMS), University of Toronto, Medical Sciences Building, 1 King's College Circle, Room 2374, Toronto, ON, M5S 1A8, Canada.
5
Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, 250 College Street, 8th Floor, Toronto, ON, M5T 1R8, Canada.
6
Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, 155 College Street, 6th Floor, Toronto, ON, M5T 3M7, Canada.
7
Institute for Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, TU Dresden, Chemnitzer Str. 46, 01187, Dresden, Germany.
8
Chemisches und Veterinäruntersuchungsamt (CVUA) Karlsruhe, Weissenburger Strasse 3, 76187, Karlsruhe, Germany. Lachenmeier@web.de.
9
Institute for Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, TU Dresden, Chemnitzer Str. 46, 01187, Dresden, Germany. Lachenmeier@web.de.

Abstract

The consumption of alcoholic beverages has been classified as carcinogenic to humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) since 1988. More recently, in 2010, ethanol as the major constituent of alcoholic beverages and its metabolite acetaldehyde were also classified as carcinogenic to humans. Alcoholic beverages as multi-component mixtures may additionally contain further known or suspected human carcinogens as constituent or contaminant. This review will discuss the occurrence and toxicology of eighteen carcinogenic compounds (acetaldehyde, acrylamide, aflatoxins, arsenic, benzene, cadmium, ethanol, ethyl carbamate, formaldehyde, furan, glyphosate, lead, 3-MCPD, 4-methylimidazole, N-nitrosodimethylamine, pulegone, ochratoxin A, safrole) occurring in alcoholic beverages as identified based on monograph reviews by the IARC. For most of the compounds of alcoholic beverages, quantitative risk assessment provided evidence for only a very low risk (such as margins of exposure above 10,000). The highest risk was found for ethanol, which may reach exposures in ranges known to increase the cancer risk even at moderate drinking (margin of exposure around 1). Other constituents that could pose a risk to the drinker were inorganic lead, arsenic, acetaldehyde, cadmium and ethyl carbamate, for most of which mitigation by good manufacturing practices is possible. Nevertheless, due to the major effect of ethanol, the cancer burden due to alcohol consumption can only be reduced by reducing alcohol consumption in general or by lowering the alcoholic strength of beverages.

KEYWORDS:

Acetaldehyde; Alcoholic beverages; Cancer risk; Ethanol; Lead; Risk assessment

PMID:
27353523
DOI:
10.1007/s00204-016-1770-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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