Analyzing the National Toxicology Program’s (NTP) 13th Report on Carcinogens

You are here

November 7, 2014 - James Lee

On October 3, 2014, the National Toxicology Program (NTP) published the 13th Report on Carcinogens (RoC), which is a congressionally mandated, science-based, public health document that the NTP prepared for the United States Department of Health and Human Services. In addition, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates under HazCom 2012 any chemical listed in the NTP RoC be listed in Section 11 of the safety data sheet (SDS) along with any potential carcinogen identified by IARC or OSHA.

Four substances were newly added to this edition, which brings the total reported listings to 243 substances. These substances include:

  • 1-bromopropane (CASRN 106-94-5);
  • pentachlorophenol and by-products of its synthesis (CASRNs 87-86-5 for pentachlorophenol and 131-52-2 for pentachlorophenol, sodium salt);
  • cumene (CASRN 98-82-8);
  • and ortho-toluidine (CASRN 95-53-4)

The NPT report identifies agents, substances, mixtures or exposures in two categories: “known to be a human carcinogen” and “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.”

Based on new cancer studies, o-toluidine is now listed as known to be a human carcinogen, instead of reasonably anticipated to be. O-toluidine is a synthetic chemical commonly used in producing rubbers, pesticides and dyes. Three other chemicals – 1-bromopropane, pentachlorophenol mixture, and cumene – are added as reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen. 1-bromopropane is a solvent widely used as a cleaner for optics, electronics, and metals, as well as a solvent for aerosol-applied adhesives.  Pentachlorophenol and by-products are used in wood preservatives, commonly for treating utility poles, wood pilings, fence posts, and lumber for construction. Cumene, a natural component of coal tar and petroleum, is used primarily to produce acetone and phenol.

In light of these recent changes to NTP RoC, affected companies (producers of rubbers, pesticides and dyes; specialty solvents; wood preservatives; or acetone and phenol) that are currently authoring their SDSs may need to re-evaluate Section 11 (Toxicological Information) to determine if it needs a revision.