NIH News Release
National Institute of
Environmental Health Sciences

Thursday, March 22, 2001
NIEHS Media contact:
Bill Grigg, (301) 402-3378

Federal Government Makes Final Call for Data, Public Comment Before Writing New Report on Cancer-Causing Substances

Do estrogens, wood dust, a common solvent called trichloroethylene, the flavoring methyleugenol and the antibiotic chloramphenicol cause human cancer under some circumstances? The National Toxicology Program, headquartered at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, today sought final public comments and data on these and several other substances and exposures before recommending whether to list them as human carcinogens in the federal government's tenth and newest Report on Carcinogens.

Comments will be accepted for 60 days.

Last year, two federal science committees and one public peer review panel with non-government members looked at eight nominated substances. The three scientific review committees evaluated available, published data relevant to listing these substances as "known" or, with less complete data, as "reasonably anticipated to be" causes of human cancer. Here are the substances reviewed:

Additional information can be obtained from the NTP Home Page web site at or by contacting C. W. Jameson, NTP Mail drop EC-14, P.O. Box 12233, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709; phone: (919) 541-4096, fax: (919) 541-0144, email: Comments also should be addressed to Dr. Jameson.

The Report on Carcinogens is a Congressionally mandated listing of known human carcinogens and reasonably anticipated human carcinogens and its preparation is delegated to the NTP by the Department of Health and Human Services. The law states that the reports should provide available information on the nature of exposures, the estimated number of persons exposed and the extent to which the implementation of current federal regulations decreases the risk to the public.

NIEHS/NTP plans to publish the tenth report next year.

Further details appear in the Federal Register, Vol. 66, No. 43, pages 13334-13338.