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A peer-review panel convened by the National Toxicology Program unanimously recommended that two widely used industrial chemicals, cumene and 1-bromopropane, be classified as reasonably anticipated human carcinogens.

A panel of nine–epidemiologists, genetic toxicologists, consultants, and other experts–met March 21 and 22 to review the draft summaries, called “monographs,” for cumene (CAS No. 98-82-8) and 1-bromopropane (CAS No. 106-94-5) as well as draft substance profiles.

When completed and approved by the secretary of health and human services, the substance profiles will be published in the congressionally mandated Report on Carcinogens, which lists known and reasonably anticipated human carcinogens. The report is not a regulatory document, although inclusion in the report triggers hazard communication requirements and can lead to state regulations.

Cumene, a component of petroleum and a chemical used to make plastics, nylon, and other chemicals, was produced in the United States for industrial and commercial purposes in quantities of 1 billion pounds or more in 2006 and imported in volumes of more than 2 billion pounds in 2011, NTP’s draft monograph said.

The peer reviewers discussed but were not convinced by scientific evidence chemical manufacturers submitted prior to the meeting. The companies argued against either cumene or 1-bromopropane being classified as human carcinogens (37 CRR 308, 3/18/13).

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