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International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) - Summaries & Evaluations

NITRILOTRIACETIC ACID AND ITS SALTS
(Group 2B)

For definition of Groups, see Preamble Evaluation.

VOL.: 48 (1990) (p. 181)

Nitrilotriacetic acid
CAS No.
: 139-13-9
Chem. Abstr. Name: Glycine, N,N-bis(carboxymethyl)-

Nitriotriacetic acid, sodium salt [unspecified]
CAS No.
: 10042-84-9
Chem. Abstr. Name: Glycine, N,N-bis(carboxymethyl)-, sodium salt

Nitrilotriacetic acid, monosodium salt
CAS No.
: 18994-66-6
Chem. Abstr. Name: Glycine, N,N-bis(carboxymethyl)-, monosodium salt

Nitrilotriacetic acid, disodium salt
CAS No.
: 15467-20-6
Chem. Abstr. Name: Glycine, N,N-bis(carboxymethyl)-, disodium salt

Nitrilotriacetic acid, disodium salt, monohydrate
CAS No.
: 23255-03-0
Chem. Abstr. Name: Glycine, N,N-bis(carboxymethyl)-, disodium salt, monohydrate

Nitrilotriacetic acid, trisodium salt
CAS No.
: 5064-31-3
Chem. Abstr. Name: Glycine, N,N-bis(carboxymethyl)-, trisodium salt

Nitrilotriacetic acid, trisodium salt, monohydrate
CAS No.
: 18662-53-8
Chem. Abstr. Name: Glycine, N,N-bis(carboxymethyl)-, trisodium salt, monohydrate

5. Summary of Data Reported and Evaluation

5.1 Exposure data

Nitrilotriacetic acid and its sodium salts have been produced since the 1930s for use as metal chelating agents in household and industrial detergents, industrial water treatment, textile preparation and metal finishing. Occupational exposure to nitrilotriacetic acid and its salts may occur during its production and use, but data on levels are limited. Exposure to nitrilotriacetic acid, and presumably to its water-soluble metal complexes, occurs as a result of its presence in household detergents and in drinking-water.

5.2 Experimental carcinogenicity data

Nitrilotriacetic acid was tested for carcinogenicity by oral administration in the diet in mice and rats. It induced renal-cell adenocarcinomas in mice of each sex, renal-cell tumours in male rats and transitional- and squamous-cell carcinomas of the urinary bladder, hepatocellular adenomas and adrenal phaeochromocytomas in female rats.

Nitrilotriacetic acid, trisodium salt was tested for carcinogenicity in mice and rats by oral administration. When administered in the diet as the monohydrate, it induced haematopoietic tumours in male mice and benign and malignant tumours of the urinary system (kidney, ureter and bladder) in rats of each sex. When administered in drinking-water to male rats, it induced renal adenomas and adenocarcinomas.

In two-stage carcinogenicity studies in male rats by oral administration, nitrilotriacetic acid and its trisodium salt increased the incidence of urinary-tract tumours after pretreatment with different nitrosamines.

Solutions of nitrilotriacetic acid, disodium salt with ferric salts were tested in mice of each sex and in male rats by intraperitoneal administration. They induced renal adenocarcinomas in males of each species.

5.3 Human carcinogenicity data

No data were available to the Working Group.

5.4 Other relevant data

Nitrilotriacetic acid and its trisodium salt were nephrotoxic to rodents.

In a single study, nitrilotriacetic acid did not induce dominant lethal mutation in mice treated in vivo. Also in single studies, it did not induce chromosomal aberrations or sister chromatid exchange in Chinese hamster cells in vitro. In single studies, it induced aneuploidy and sex chromosome loss in Drosophila at high doses. In other studies, it did not induce sex-linked recessive lethal mutation in Drosophila. It was not mutagenic to fungi, and, in a single study, it did not cause aneuploidy in fungi.

In a single study, nitrilotriacetic acid, trisodium salt did not induce micronuclei in mice in vivo. It did not cause chromosomal aberrations or, in a single study, sister chromatid exchange in human peripheral lymphocytes in vitro, but, at a high dose in one study, it was mutagenic to a human epithelial-like cell line in vitro. It also caused chromosomal aberrations in rat kangaroo cells at a high dose in a single study, but it did not cause sister chromatid exchange or gene mutation or, in another study, unscheduled DNA synthesis in rodent cells in vitro. At high doses, it caused chromosomal aberrations in plants. It was not mutagenic to yeast or bacteria in the presence or absence of an exogenous metabolic system. It gave equivocal results for DNA damage in prokaryotes.

5.5 Evaluation

There is sufficient evidence for the carcinogenicity of nitrilotriacetic acid and its sodium salts in experimental animals.

No data were available from studies in humans on the carcinogenicity of nitrilotriacetic acid and its salts.

In formulating the overall evaluation, the Working Group took note of the fact that nitrilotriacetic acid is liberated to some extent from nitrilotriacetate salts in solution.

Overall evaluation

Nitrilotriacetic acid and its salts are possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B).

For definition of the italicized terms, see Preamble Evaluation.

Subsequent evaluation: Vol. 73 (1999)

Synonyms for Nitrilotriacetic acid

Synonyms for Nitriotriacetic acid, sodium salt

Synonyms for Nitrilotriacetic acid, monosodium salt

Synonyms for Nitrilotriacetic acid, disodium salt

Synonyms for Nitrilotriacetic acid, disodium salt, monohydrate

Synonyms for Nitrilotriacetic acid, trisodium salt

Synonyms for Nitrilotriacetic acid, trisodium salt, monohydrate


Last updated 01/20/98





















    See Also:
       Toxicological Abbreviations
       Nitrilotriacetic Acid and its Salts  (IARC Summary & Evaluation, Volume 73, 1999)