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


VOL.:36 (1985) (p. 55)

CAS No.: 57-06-7
Chem. Abstr. Name: 1-Propene, 3-isothiocyanato-

5. Summary of Data Reported and Evaluation

5.1 Exposure data

Allyl isothiocyanate occurs widely in natural products in the glucoside sinigrin. Synthetic allyl isothiocyanate has been produced commercially since 1937. Allyl isothiocyanate is also prepared from the seeds of mustard plants, Brassica nigra and B. juncea. It is used principally as a flavouring agent in a variety of foods. Exposures can also occur from its use as an alcohol denaturant and in external analgesic products.

5.2 Experimental data

Allyl isothiocyanate was tested for carcinogenicity by gastric intubation in mice of one strain and in rats of one strain. In mice, no increase in the incidence of tumours was observed. An increased incidence of epithelial hyperplasia and transitional-cell papillomas of the urinary bladder was observed in male rats only, and some subcutaneous fibrosarcomas occurred in female rats given the high dose.

Allyl isothiocyanate was not teratogenic to mice, rats, hamsters or rabbits, but resorptions were seen in mice and rats.

Allyl isothiocyanate did not induce DNA damage in bacteria. It induced mutations in bacteria and insects and chromosomal aberrations in plants. It did not induce dominant lethal mutations in mice.

5.3 Human data

No case report or epidemiological study of the carcinogenicity of allyl isothiocyanate to humans was available to the Working Group.

5.4 Evaluation

There is limited evidence for the carcinogenicity of allyl isothiocyanate to experimental animals.

In the absence of epidemiological data, no evaluation could be made of the carcinogenicity of allyl isothiocyanate to humans.

For definition of the italicized terms, see Preamble Evaluation.

Subsequent evaluations: Suppl. 7 (1987) (p. 56); Vol. 73 (1999)


Last updated: 30 September 1999

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