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


VOL.: 20 (1979) (p. 241)

CAS No.: 70-30-4
Chem. Abstr. Name: 2,2'-Methylenebis(3,4,6-trichlorophenol)

5. Summary of Data Reported and Evaluation

5.1 Experimental data

Hexachlorophene was tested in one experiment in rats by oral administration; it had no carcinogenic effect. It was inadequately tested in one experiment in mice by skin application.

Hexachlorophene is embryotoxic and produces some teratogenic effects. It was not mutagenic in Salmonella typhimurium and was negative in a dominant lethal assay in male mice. Cytogenetic tests with cultured human lymphocytes were also negative.

N.B. - Subsequent to the meeting of the Working Group, the Secretariat became aware of completed studies on the carcinogenicity of hexachlorophene in which no carcinogenic effects were observed in mice or rats following its oral administration or in mice following exposure prenatally or via the mother's milk or following its s.c. injection to newborn mice (Rudali & Assa, 1978).

5.2 Human data

No case reports or epidemiological studies were available to the Working Group.

Malformations have been reported in children born to mothers repeatedly exposed to hexachlorophene.

The extensive production and use, particularly in germicidal soap, of hexachlorophene over the past several decades indicate that widespread human exposure occurs in both the general and the working environment. This is confirmed by its presence in human body fluids. Episodes of intoxication have also been reported.

5.3 Evaluation

The available data do not allow an evaluation of the carcinogenicity of hexachlorophene to be made.

Subsequent evaluation: Suppl. 7 (1987) (p. 64: Group 3)

For definition of terms, see Preamble Evaluation.


Last updated: 31 March 1998

    See Also:
       Toxicological Abbreviations
       Hexachlorophene (ICSC)