Arsenic, metals, fibres, and dusts
Volume 100 of the IARC Monographs, A Review of Human Carcinogens, covers all agents previously classified by IARC as "carcinogenic to humans (Group 1)" and was developed by six separate Working Groups: Pharmaceuticals; Biological agents; Arsenic, Metals, Fibres, and Dusts; Radiation; Personal Habits and Indoor Combustions; Chemical Agents and Related Occupations.
Because the scope of Volume 100 is so broad, its Monographs are focused on key information. Each Monograph presents a description of a carcinogenic agent and how people are exposed, critical overviews of the epidemiological studies and animal cancer bioassays, and a concise review of the agent's toxicokinetics, plausible mechanisms of carcinogenesis, and potentially susceptible populations, and life-stages. Details of the design and results of individual epidemiological studies and animal cancer bioassays are summarized in tables. Short tables that highlight key results are printed in Volume 100, and more extensive tables that include all studies appear on the Monographs programme website (http://monographs.iarc.fr).
It is hoped that this volume, by compiling the knowledge accumulated through several decades of cancer research, will stimulate cancer prevention activities worldwide, and will be a valued resource for future research to identify other agents suspected of causing cancer in humans.
Soon after IARC was established in 1965, it received frequent requests for advice on the carcinogenic risk of chemicals, including requests for lists of known and suspected human carcinogens. It was clear that it would not be a simple task to summarize adequately the complexity of the information that was available, and IARC began to consider means of obtaining international expert opinion on this topic. In 1970, the IARC Advisory Committee on Environmental Carcinogenesis recommended ‘...that a compendium on carcinogenic chemicals be prepared by experts. The biological activity and evaluation of practical importance to public health should be referenced and documented.’ The IARC Governing Council adopted a resolution concerning the role of IARC in providing government authorities with expert, independent, scientific opinion on environmental carcinogenesis. As one means to that end, the Governing Council recommended that IARC should prepare monographs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risk of chemicals to man, which became the initial title of the series. In the succeeding years, the scope of the programme broadened as Monographs were developed for groups of related chemicals, complex mixtures, occupational exposures, physical and biological agents and lifestyle factors. In 1988, the phrase ‘of chemicals’ was dropped from the title, which assumed its present form, IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans.