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


VOL.: 40 (1986) (p. 207)

CAS No.: 7758-01-2
Chem. Abstr. Name: Bromic acid, potassium salt

5. Summary of Data Reported and Evaluation

5.1 Exposure

Potassium bromate is used in bread-making and in the production of fish paste and fermented beverages; however, manufacturing and baking practices are available that reportedly leave little or no residual bromate in the end product. Occupational exposure to potassium bromate occurs mainly in production plants. Consumers may be exposed through the use some permanent-wave kits with potassium bromate neutralizer solutions.

5.2 Experimental data

Potassium bromate was tested for carcinogenicity in one experiment in rats by oral administration in the drinking-water, producing renal-cell adenomas and adenocarcinomas in animals of each sex, peritoneal mesotheliomas in males and thyroid tumours in females. Experiments in mice and rats fed diets containing bread baked from flour containing potassium bromate were considered to be inadequate to evaluate the carcinogenicity of potassium bromate itself.

The incidence of renal-cell tumours in rats induced by administration of N-nitrosoethyl-N-
hydroxyethylamine was increased by subsequent administration of potassium bromate.

In rats, administration of potassium bromate in the drinking-water caused tubular lesions of the kidney which were classified as dysplastic foci.

No data were available to evaluate the reproductive effects or prenatal toxicity of potassium bromate to experimental animals.

Potassium bromate was mutagenic in Salmonella typhimurium in the presence of an exogenous metabolic system. The compound induced chromosomal aberrations in cultured Chinese hamster cells and micronuclei in mice treated in vivo.

5.3 Human data

No case report or epidemiological study of the carcinogenicity of potassium bromate was available to the Working Group.

5.4 Evaluation

There is sufficient evidence for the carcinogenicity of potassium bromate in experimental animals.

No data were available on the carcinogenicity of potassium bromate to humans.

N.B. - After the meeting, the Secretariat became aware of a study in which 9% of male hamsters administered potassium bromate in the drinking-water developed kidney tumours (Takamura et al., 1986).

For definition of the italicized terms, see Preamble Evaluation.

Subsequent evaluations: Suppl. 7 (1987) (p. 70); Vol. 73 (1999)


Last updated: 30 September 1999

    See Also:
       Toxicological Abbreviations
       Potassium bromate (ICSC)
       Potassium bromate (WHO Food Additives Series 18)
       Potassium bromate (WHO Food Additives Series 24)
       Potassium bromate (WHO Food Additives Series 30)