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

MUSK AMBRETTE AND MUSK XYLENE
(Group 3)

For definition of Groups, see Preamble Evaluation.

Vol.: 65 (1996) (p. 477)

CAS No.: 83-66-9
Chem. Abstr. Name: 1-(1,1-Dimethylethyl)-2-methoxy-4-methyl-3,5-dinitrobenzene

CAS No.: 81-15-2
Chem. Abstr. Name: 1-(1,1-Dimethylethyl)-3,5-dimethyl-2,4,6-trinitrobenzene

5. Summary of Data Reported and Evaluation

5.1 Exposure data

Musk ambrette and musk xylene are nitro musks, which are prepared by nitration of tert-butylcresol methyl ether and tert-butyl-meta-xylene, respectively. Musk xylene and, in lower amounts, musk ambrette have been used since the early 1900s as fragrance ingredients in perfumes, soaps, detergents and cosmetics. Musk ambrette has also been used at low levels in foods such as candy, chewing gum and beverages. Nitro musks have been detected in surface waters and in fish and shellfish.

5.2 Human carcinogenicity data

No data were available to the Working Group.

5.3 Animal carcinogenicity data

No data were available on the carcinogenicity of musk ambrette.

Musk xylene was tested for carcinogenicity in mice by oral administration in the diet in one experiment and induced increased incidences of hepatocellular adenomas and carcinomas and Harderian gland tumours in males and hepatocellular adenomas in females.

5.4 Other relevant data

Application of musk ambrette on the skin may cause photocontact dermatitis and chronic actinic dermatitis.

Musk ambrette was mutagenic in Salmonella and Drosophila. It did not induce micronuclei in the bone marrow of mice in vivo.

In humans, musk xylene is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. It is distributed to the adipose tissue and its half-time in blood plasma is two to three months. It is excreted in human milk.

Musk xylene is metabolized in the rat by nitroreduction. Musk xylene is a phenobarbital-type inducer of cytochromes P450 in rats and mice.

Musk xylene did not induce genetic damage in bacteria, cultured mammalian cells or, in one study, in mammals in vivo.

5.5 Evaluation

There is inadequate evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of musk ambrette and musk xylene.

There is inadequate evidence in experimental animals for the carcinogenicity of musk ambrette.

There is limited evidence in experimental animals for the carcinogenicity of musk xylene.

Overall evaluation

Musk ambrette and musk xylene are not classifiable as to their carcinogenicity to humans (Group 3).

For definition of the italicized terms, see Preamble Evaluation.

Synonyms for musk ambrette

Synonyms for musk xylene


Last updated 08/14/1997






















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       Toxicological Abbreviations