International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) - Summaries & Evaluations
VOL.: 18 (1978) (p. 107)
5. Summary of Data Reported and Evaluation
5.1 Experimental data
Only one commercial preparation of polybrominated biphenyls
(Firemaster FF-1), composed primarily of penta-, hexa- and
heptabrominated congeners, was tested in one experiment in rats by
oral administration of single doses. Although neoplastic changes of
the liver were reported, the study was considered to be inadequate.
Firemaster FF-1 is embryotoxic and teratogenic. Cytogenetic tests in
mice were negative.
5.2 Human data
No case reports or epidemiological studies were available to the
The extensive production of polybrominated biphenyls during the last
decade, their persistence in the environment and in the body, and
their use, mainly as flame retardants, indicate that widespread human
exposure occurs. This is confirmed by their presence in water and food
and in human tissues and body fluids.
No evaluation of the carcinogenicity of polybrominated biphenyls could
be made on the basis of the available data.
Subsequent evaluations: Vol. 41 (1986);
Suppl. 7 (1987)
Last updated: 27 March 1998