PMID: 6353911Jan 1, 1983Paper

Benzene: a multipotential carcinogen. Results of long-term bioassays performed at the Bologna Institute of Oncology

American Journal of Industrial Medicine
C MaltoniG Cotti


Until recently, the incidence of benzene carcinogenicity was based only on the association between benzene occupational exposure and human leukemia, with many limited case reports and scanty epidemiological data. Available experimental studies up to 1976 on animals were rare, fragmentary, and inadequate, and had failed to prove the carcinogenic effects of benzenes. However, an integrated project of long-term carcinogenicity bioassays, begun in our laboratory in 1976 and still continuing, has shown that benzene produces a variety of tumors in rats including Zymbal gland carcinomas, carcinomas of the oral cavity, hepatocarcinomas, and possibly mammary carcinomas, lymphoreticular neoplasias, and other malignancies. Some of the tumors caused by benzene are uncommon or unusual in the breed of rats studied. Therefore benzene must be considered, under the studied experimental conditions, a strong multipotential carcinogen. The need for more experimental research is emphasized, particularly to assess the carcinogenic effects of low doses. Also recommended are more comprehensive epidemiological investigations, extended to all types of malignancies, and the application of adequate measures for primary prevention.


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