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More hazards from chemicals.

More hazards from chemicals

Of the 800,000 industrial chemicals introduced since 1940, only 100 have been studied in terms of their effects on living systems. And few of those chemicals have been adequately studied, says Cesare Maltoni, director of the Bologna Institute of Oncology in Italy. Experiments in his laboratory, to be reported soon in the AMERICAN JOURNAL OF INDUSTRIAL MEDICINE, indicate that two organic solvents, xylene and toluene, should be added to the list of known chemical carcinogens.

About 10 million tons of toluene and 5 million tons of xylene are produced each year for use as solvents and in the synthesis of other chemicals, and both are found in gasoline. When Maltoni and his colleagues exposed rats to toluene, the occurrence of malignant tumors jumped from a 24.5 percent baseline rate to 68.8 percent. Xylene exposure resulted in a 56.4 percent incidence of malignant tumors.

An increased incidence of cancer among workers who deal with these substances has not been seen yet, says Maltoni, because the chemicals probably have a long latency period.
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Title Annotation:xylene and toluene found to be carcinogens
Author:Silberner, Joanne
Publication:Science News
Date:Apr 13, 1985
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