Jump to main content.


Anthracene (CASRN 120-12-7)

IRIS
List of IRIS Substances




view QuickView

Main Contents

Go

0434

Anthracene; CASRN 120-12-7

Human health assessment information on a chemical substance is included in the IRIS database only after a comprehensive review of toxicity data, as outlined in the IRIS assessment development process. Sections I (Health Hazard Assessments for Noncarcinogenic Effects) and II (Carcinogenicity Assessment for Lifetime Exposure) present the conclusions that were reached during the assessment development process. Supporting information and explanations of the methods used to derive the values given in IRIS are provided in the guidance documents located on the IRIS website.

STATUS OF DATA FOR Anthracene

File First On-Line 09/01/1990

Category (section)
Status
Last Revised
Oral RfD Assessment (I.A.) on-line 07/01/1993
Inhalation RfC Assessment (I.B.) no data 09/01/1994
Carcinogenicity Assessment (II.) on-line 01/01/1991

_I.  Chronic Health Hazard Assessments for Noncarcinogenic Effects

_I.A. Reference Dose for Chronic Oral Exposure (RfD)

Substance Name — Anthracene
CASRN — 120-12-7
Last Revised — 07/01/1993

The oral Reference Dose (RfD) is based on the assumption that thresholds exist for certain toxic effects such as cellular necrosis. It is expressed in units of mg/kg-day. In general, the RfD is an estimate (with uncertainty spanning perhaps an order of magnitude) of a daily exposure to the human population (including sensitive subgroups) that is likely to be without an appreciable risk of deleterious effects during a lifetime. Please refer to the Background Document for an elaboration of these concepts. RfDs can also be derived for the noncarcinogenic health effects of substances that are also carcinogens. Therefore, it is essential to refer to other sources of information concerning the carcinogenicity of this substance. If the U.S. EPA has evaluated this substance for potential human carcinogenicity, a summary of that evaluation will be contained in Section II of this file.

__I.A.1. Oral RfD Summary

Critical Effect
Experimental Doses*
UF
MF
RfD

No observed effects

Subchronic Toxicity
Study in Mice

U.S. EPA, 1989

NOEL: 1000 mg/kg/day

LOAEL: none

3000
1
3E-1
mg/kg/day

* Conversion Factors: none

__I.A.2. Principal and Supporting Studies (Oral RfD)

U.S. EPA. 1989. Subchronic toxicity in mice with anthracene. Final Report. Hazelton Laboratories America, Inc. Prepared for the Office of Solid Waste, Washington, DC.

Anthracene was administered to groups of 20 male and female CD-1 (ICR)BR mice by oral gavage at doses of 0, 250, 500, and 1000 mg/kg/day for at least 90 days. Mortality, clinical signs, body weights, food consumption, opthalmology findings, hematology and clinical chemistry results, organ weights, organ-to-body weight ratios, gross pathology, and histopathology findings were evaluated. No treatment-related effects were noted. The no- observed-effect level (NOEL) is the highest dose tested (1000 mg/kg/day).

__I.A.3. Uncertainty and Modifying Factors (Oral RfD)

UF — An uncertainty factor of 3000 was used: 10 to account for interspecies extrapolation, 10 for intraspecies variability and 30 for both the use of a subchronic study for chronic RfD derivation and for lack of reproductive/developmental data and adequate toxicity data in a second species.

MF — None

__I.A.4. Additional Studies/Comments (Oral RfD)

In a chronic bioassay (Schmahl, 1955), a group of 28 BD I and BD III rats received anthracene in the diet, starting when the rats were approximately 100 days old. The daily dosage was 5 to 15 mg/rat, and the experiment was terminated when a total dose of 4.5 g/rat was achieved, on the 550th experimental day. The rats were observed until they died, with some living more than 1000 days. No treatment-related effects on lifespan or gross and histological appearance of tissues were observed. Body weights were not mentioned, and hematological parameters were not measured. No chronic LOAEL could be determined from this study.

__I.A.5. Confidence in the Oral RfD

Study — Low
Database — Low
RfD — Low

Confidence in the study is low. It was a well-designed experiment examining a variety of toxicological endpoints; however, failure to identify a LOAEL precludes a higher level of confidence. Confidence in the database is low, because of the lack of adequate toxicity data in a second species and developmental/reproductive studies. Low confidence in the RfD follows.

__I.A.6. EPA Documentation and Review of the Oral RfD

Source Document — U.S. EPA, 1987

ECAO-CIN Internal Review and Limited Agency Review.

Other EPA Documentation — U.S. EPA,1989

Agency Work Group Review — 10/19/1989, 11/15/1989

Verification Date — 11/15/1989

__I.A.7. EPA Contacts (Oral RfD)

Please contact the IRIS Hotline for all questions concerning this assessment or IRIS, in general, at (202)566-1676 (phone), (202)566-1749 (FAX) or hotline.iris@epa.gov (internet address).

Top of page


_I.B. Reference Concentration for Chronic Inhalation Exposure (RfC)

Substance Name — Anthracene
CASRN — 120-12-7

Not available at this time.

Top of page


_II.  Carcinogenicity Assessment for Lifetime Exposure

Substance Name — Anthracene
CASRN — 120-12-7
Last Revised — 01/01/1991

Section II provides information on three aspects of the carcinogenic assessment for the substance in question; the weight-of-evidence judgment of the likelihood that the substance is a human carcinogen, and quantitative estimates of risk from oral exposure and from inhalation exposure. The quantitative risk estimates are presented in three ways. The slope factor is the result of application of a low-dose extrapolation procedure and is presented as the risk per (mg/kg)/day. The unit risk is the quantitative estimate in terms of either risk per ug/L drinking water or risk per ug/cu.m air breathed. The third form in which risk is presented is a drinking water or air concentration providing cancer risks of 1 in 10,000, 1 in 100,000 or 1 in 1,000,000. The rationale and methods used to develop the carcinogenicity information in IRIS are described in The Risk Assessment Guidelines of 1986 (EPA/600/8-87/045) and in the IRIS Background Document. IRIS summaries developed since the publication of EPA's more recent Proposed Guidelines for Carcinogen Risk Assessment also utilize those Guidelines where indicated (Federal Register 61(79):17960-18011, April 23, 1996). Users are referred to Section I of this IRIS file for information on long-term toxic effects other than carcinogenicity.

_II.A. Evidence for Human Carcinogenicity

__II.A.1. Weight-of-Evidence Characterization

Classification — D, not classifiable as to human carcinogencity

Basis — Based on no human data and inadequate data from animal bioassays.

__II.A.2. Human Carcinogenicity Data

None.

__II.A.3. Animal Carcinogenicity Data

Inadequate. A group of 28 BDI or BDIII rats (sex not specified) were fed a diet containing anthracene in oil, 6 days/week for 78 weeks, and observed until natural death, approximately 700 days (Schmahl, 1955). The total dose was 4.5 g anthracene/rat (approximately 28 mg/kg/day). No concurrent controls were used. No tumors were observed.

Groups of 60 female 3-to 6-month-old Osborne-Mendel rats were observed for 55-81 weeks after receiving a single lung implant of anthracene (0.5 mg/rat, approximately 2 mg/kg) dissolved in a 1:1 (v:v) mixture of beeswax and trioctanoin (0.1 mL) (Stanton et al., 1972). Controls received an implant of the vehicle. No tumors were observed.

Tests for complete carcinogenicity and initiating activity in mouse skin- painting assays have not shown positive results. No tumors were observed in an assay of initiating activity in which Crl:CD/1 (ICR)BR female albino mice were exposed to 1 mg anthracene in acetone, and then treated with 12-o- tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13 acetate as the promoting agent 3 times/week for 20 weeks (LaVoie et al., 1985).

A single dermal application of 10 um anthracene (purity not stated) in benzene was administered to 30 female CD-1 mice; this initial application was followed 7 days later by twice-weekly applications of 5 um 12-0-tetradecanoyl phorbol-13-acetate (TPA) for 35 weeks. Survival in the group was 93% after 35 weeks. By week 20 of the test, 2/28 mice had developed skin tumors; this increased to 4/28 by week 35. In the control group, in which 30 mice received only the TPA applications, a mouse developed a skin tumor at week 25 (Scribner, 1973).

Kennaway (1924) administered 40% anthracene (purity unknown) either in lanolin or as an ether-extract to two groups of 100 mice each (sex and strain not stated). In the lanolin-group, 44% of the mice survived 131 days and in the ether-extract group only 6% survived until day 160. In the lanolin-group 1/44 surviving mice had developed a papilloma by day 131; no mice had developed tumors in the ether-extract by day 160. No information pertaining to the use of a control group was given.

Druckrey and Schmahl (1955) administered a diet containing anthracene in oil 6 days/week to 28 BDI or BDIII rats (sex not stated) for 78 weeks. The total dose was 4.5 g anthracene/rat. No treatment-related tumors were found, and no control groups appear to have been utilized.

__II.A.4. Supporting Data for Carcinogenicity

Tests for DNA damage and gene mutations in prokaryotes have generally shown negative results. Negative results were observed in tests for DNA damage in Escherichia coli at concentrations up to 250 ug/mL and Bacillus subtilis at 62 ug/mL (Rosenkrantz and Poirier, 1979; McCarroll et al., 1981; DeFlora et al., 1984). Negative results were obtained in tests for reverse mutation in six strains of Salmonella typhimurium, at concentrations up to 1000 ug/plate (McCann et al., 1975; Simmon, 1979a; LaVoie et al., 1979; Salamone et al., 1979; Ho et al., 1981; DeFlora et al., 1984; Bos et al., 1988). Tests for forward mutation at 40 ug/mL were negative (Kaden et al., 1979). Positive results for reverse mutation in Salmonella typhimurium (TA97) at 10 ug/plate were reported (Sakai et al., 1985). Anthracene was tested in bacterial assays in 20 laboratories as part of an international collaborative study. One lab reported a positive in TA100 without activation, one lab reported a positive in TA98 and TA100 but only with S9 and all other labs reported negative results (Bridges et al., 1981).

Anthracene has consistently been negative in yeast test systems measuring mitotic recombination (Simmon, 1979b; de Serres and Hoffman, 1981), gene conversion, mutation and chromosome loss (de Serres and Hoffman, 1981).

Tests for DNA damage, mutation, chromosome effects and cell transformation in a variety of eukaryotic cell preparations have shown negative results. Anthracene showed negative results in tests for DNA damage (DNA synthesis) in primary rat hepatocytes (1 ug/mL), Chinese hamster ovary cells (1000 ug/mL), or HeLa cells (100 ug/mL) (Williams, 1977; Probst et al., 1981; Garrett and Lewtas, 1983; Martin et al., 1978; Martin and McDermid, 1981). It yielded negative results in tests for forward mutation in Chinese hamster V79 cells (125 ug/mL), mouse lymphoma L5178Y cells (18 ug/mL) and human lymphoblastoid cells (36 ug/mL) (Knapp et al., 1981; Amacher and Turner, 1980; Amacher et al., 1980; Barfknecht et al., 1981). Results obtained in tests for sister- chromatid exchange and chromosome breaks in Chinese hamster D6 cells and rat liver epithelial ARL-18 cells at 178 ug/mL were negative (Abe and Sasaki, 1977; Tong et al., 1981). Results reported in tests for cell transformation (morphological changes) at concentrations up to 30 ug/mL in mouse BALB/3T3 cells, guinea pig fetal cells, Syrian hamster embryo cells and mouse embryo C3H10T1/2 cells (DiPaolo et al., 1972; Evans and DiPaolo, 1975; Pienta et al., 1977; Lubet et al., 1983) were negative. In the international collaborative study negative results were reported with in vitro assays measuring unscheduled DNA synthesis, sister chromatid exchange, chromosome aberrations, and gene mutations (Brookes and Preston, 1981).

Top of page


_II.B. Quantitative Estimate of Carcinogenic Risk from Oral Exposure

None.

Top of page


_II.C. Quantitative Estimate of Carcinogenic Risk from Inhalation Exposure

None.

Top of page


_II.D. EPA Documentation, Review, and Contacts (Carcinogenicity Assessment)

__II.D.1. EPA Documentation

Source Document — U.S. EPA, 1990

The 1990 Drinking Water Criteria Document for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons has received Agency and external review.

__II.D.2. EPA Review (Carcinogenicity Assessment)

Agency Work Group Review — 02/07/1990

Verification Date — 02/07/1990

__II.D.3. EPA Contacts (Carcinogenicity Assessment)

Please contact the IRIS Hotline for all questions concerning this assessment or IRIS, in general, at (202)566-1676 (phone), (202)566-1749 (FAX) or hotline.iris@epa.gov (internet address).

Top of page


_III.  [reserved]
_IV.  [reserved]
_V.  [reserved]


_VI.  Bibliography

Substance Name — Anthracene
CASRN — 120-12-7
Last Revised — 01/01/1991

_VI.A. Oral RfD References

Schmahl, D. 1955. Testing of naphthalene and anthracene as carcinogenic agents in the rat. Krebsforsch. 60: 697-710. (Ger.)

U.S. EPA. 1987. Health and Environmental Effects Profile for Anthracene. Prepared by the Office of Health and Environmental Assessment, Environmental Criteria and Assessment Office, Cincinnati, OH for the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, Washington, DC.

U.S. EPA. 1989. Subchronic toxicity in mice with anthracene. Final Report. Hazelton Laboratories America, Inc. Prepared for the Office of Solid Waste, Washington, DC.

Top of page


_VI.B. Inhalation RfC References

None

Top of page


_VI.C. Carcinogenicity Assessment References

Abe, S. and M. Sasaki. 1977. Studies on chromosomal aberrations and sister chromatid exchanges induced by chemicals. Proc. Jap. Acad. Sci. 53(1): 46-49.

Amacher, D.E. and G.N. Turner. 1980. Promutagen activation by rodent-liver postmitochondrial fractions in the L5178Y/TK cell mutation assay. Mutat. Res. 74: 485-501.

Amacher, D.E., S.C. Paillet, G.N. Turner, V.A. Ray and D.S. Salsburg. 1980. Point mutations at the thymidine kinase locus in L5178Y mouse lymphoma cells. II. Test validation and interpretation. Mutat. Res. 72: 447-474.

Barfknecht, T.R., B.M. Andon, W.G. Thilly and R.A. Hites. 1981. Soot and mutation in bacteria and human cells. In: Chemical Analysis and Biological Fate: Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons. 5th Int. Symp., M. Cooke and A.J. Dennis, Ed. Battelle Press, Columbus, OH. p. 231-242.

Bos, R.P., J.L.G. Theuws, F.J. Jongeneelen and P.T. Henderson. 1988. Mutagenicity of bi-, tri- and tetra-cyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the "taped-plate assay" and in the conventional Salmonella mutagenicity assay. Mutat. Res. 204: 203-206.

Bridges, B.A., D.B. McGregor, E. Zeiger, et al . 1981. Summary report on the performance of bacterial mutation assays. In: Evaluation of Short-term Tests for Carcinogens. Report of the International Collaborative Program. Progress in Mutation Research, Vol. 1, F.J. de Serres and J. Ashby, Ed. Amsterdam, Elsevier, North Holland. p. 49-67.

Brookes, P. and R.J. Preston. 1981. Summary report on the performance of in vitro mammalian assays. In: Evaluation of Short-term Tests for Carcinogens. Report of the International Collaborative Program. Progress in Mutation Research, Vol. 1, F.J. de Serres and J. Ashby, Ed. Amsterdam, Elsevier, North Holland. p. 77-85.

DeFlora, S., P. Zanacchi, A. Camoirano, C. Bennicelli and G.S. Badolati. 1984. Genotoxic activity and potency of 35 compounds in the Ames reversion test and in a bacterial DNA-repair test. Mutat. Res. 133(3): 161-198.

de Serres, F.J., G.R. Hoffman, et al. 1981. Summary report on the performance of yeast assays. In: Evaluation of Short-term Tests for Carcinogens. Report of the International Collaborative Program. Progress in Mutation Research, Vol. 1, F.J. de Serres and J. Ashby, Ed. Amsterdam, Elsevier, North Holland. p. 68-76.

DiPaolo, J.A., K. Takano and N.C. Popescu. 1972. Quantitation of chemically induced neoplastic transformation of BALB/3T3 cloned cell lines. Cancer Res. 32: 2686-2695.

Druckrey, H. and D. Schmahl. 1955. Carcinogenic effect of anthracene. Naturwissenschaften. 42: 159-160.

Evans, C.H. and J.A. DiPaolo. 1975. Neoplastic transformation of guinea pig fetal cells in culture induced by chemical carcinogens. Cancer Res. 35: 1035-1044.

Garrett, N.E. and J. Lewtas. 1983. Cellular toxicity in Chinese hamster ovary cell cultures. I. Analysis of cytotoxicity endpoints for twenty-nine priority pollutants. Environ. Res. 32(2): 455-465.

Ho, C-H., B.R. Clark, M.R. Guerin, B.D. Barkenhus, T.K. Rao and J.L. Epier. 1981. Analytical and biological analyses of test materials from the synthetic fuel technologies. IV. Studies of chemical structure-mutagenic activity relationships of aromatic nitrogen compounds relevant to synfuels. Mutat. Res. 85: 335-345.

Kaden, D.A., R.A. Hites and W.G. Thilly. 1979. Mutagenicity of soot and associated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons to Salmonella typhimurium. Cancer Res. 39: 4152-4159.

Kennaway, E.L. 1924. On cancer-producing tars and tar-fractions. J. Ind. Hyg. 5(12): 462-488.

Knapp, A., C. Goze and J. Simons. 1981. Mutagenic activity of seven coded samples of V79 Chinese hamster cells. In: Evaluation of Short-term Tests for Carcinogens. Report of the International Collaborative Program. Progress in Mutation Research, Vol. 1, F.J. de Serres and J. Ashby, Ed. Amsterdam, Elsevier, North Holland. p. 608-613.

LaVoie, E.J., E.V. Bedenko, N. Hirota, S.S. Hecht and D. Hoffmann. 1979. A comparison of the mutagenicity, tumor-initiating activity and complete carcinogenicity of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons. In: Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons, P.W. Jones and P. Leber, Ed. Ann Arbor Science Publishers, Ann Arbor, MI. p. 705-721.

LaVoie, E.J., D.T. Coleman, J.E. Rice, N.G. Geddie and D. Hoffmann. 1985. Tumor-initiating activity, mutagenicity, and metabolism of methylated anthracenes. Carcinogenesis. 6(10): 1483-1488.

Lubet, R.A., E. Kiss, M.M. Gallagher, C. Dively, R.E. Kouri and L.M. Schectman. 1983. Induction of neoplastic transformation and DNA single- strand breaks in C3H/10T1/2 clone 8 cells by polycyclic hydrocarbons and alkylating agents. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 71(5): 991-997.

Martin, C.N. and A.C. McDermid. 1981. Testing of 42 coded compounds for their ability to induce unscheduled DNA repair synthesis in HeLa cells. In: Evaluation of Short-term Tests for Carcinogens. Report of the International Collaborative Program. Progress in Mutation Research, Vol. 1, F.J. de Serres and J. Ashby, Ed. Amsterdam, Elsevier, North Holland. p. 533-537.

Martin, C.N., A.C. McDermid and R.C. Garner. 1978. Testing of known carcinogens and noncarcinogens for their ability to induce unscheduled DNA synthesis in HeLa cells. Cancer Res. 38: 2621-2627.

McCann, J.E., E. Choi, E. Yamasaki and B.N. Ames. 1975. Detection of carcinogens as mutagens in the Salmonella/microsome test: Assay of 300 chemicals. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 72(12): 5135-5139.

McCarroll, N.E., B.H. Keech and C.E. Piper. 1981. A microsuspension adaptation of the Bacillus subtilis 'rec' assay. Environ. Mutagen. 3: 607-616.

Pienta, R.J., J.A. Poiley and W.B. Libherz, III. 1977. Morphological transformation of early passage golden Syrian hamster embryo cells derived from cryopreserved primary cultures as a reliable in vitro bioassay for identifying diverse carcinogens. Int. J. Cancer. 19: 642-655.

Probst, G.S., R.E. McMahon, L.E. Hill, C.Z. Thompson, J.K. Epp and S.B. Neal. 1981. Chemically-induced unscheduled DNA synthesis in primary rat hepatocyte cultures: A comparison with bacterial mutagenicity using 218 compounds. Environ. Mutagen. 3: 11-32.

Rosenkrantz, H.S. and L.A. Poirier. 1979. Evaluation of the mutagenicity and DNA-modifying activity of carcinogens and noncarcinogens in microbial systems. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 62(4): 873-892.

Sakai, M., D. Yoshida and S. Mizusdki. 1985. Mutagenicity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and quinones on Salmonella typhimurium TA97. Mutat. Res. 156: 61-67.

Salamone, M.F., J.A. Heddle and M. Katz. 1979. The mutagenic activity of thirty polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and oxides in urban airborne particulates. Environ. Int. 2: 37-43.

Schmahl, D. 1955. Examination of the carcinogenic action of naphthalene and anthracene in rats. Z. Krebsforsch. 60: 697-710.

Scribner, J.D. 1973. Brief communication: Tumor initiation by apparently noncarcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 50: 1717-1719.

Simmon, V.F. 1979a. In vitro mutagenicity assays of chemical carcinogens and related compounds with Salmonella typhimurium. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 62(4): 893-899.

Simmon, V.F. 1979b. In vitro assays of recombinogenic activity of chemical carcinogens and related compounds with Saccharomyces cerevisiae D3. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 62(4): 901-909.

Stanton, M.F., E. Miller, C. Wrench and R. Blackwell. 1972. Experimental induction of epidermoid carcinoma in the lungs of rats by cigarette smoke condensate. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 49(3): 867-877.

Tong, C., S.V. Brat and G.M., Williams. 1981. Sister-chromatid exchange induction by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in an intact cell system of adult rat-lever epithelial cells. Mutat. Res. 91: 467-473.

U.S. EPA. 1990. Drinking Water Criteria Document for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). Prepared by the Office of Health and Environmental Assessment, Environmental Criteria and Assessment Office, Cincinnati, OH for the Office of Drinking Water, Washington, DC. ECAO-CIN-D010, September, 1990. (Final Draft)

Williams, G.M. 1977. Detection of chemical carcinogens by unscheduled DNA synthesis in rat liver primary cell cultures. Cancer Res. 37: 1845-1851.

Top of page


_VII.  Revision History

Substance Name — Anthracene
CASRN — 120-12-7

Date
Section
Description
09/01/1990 I.A. Oral RfD summary on-line
09/01/1990 VI. Bibliography on-line
01/01/1991 II. Carcinogen assessment on-line
01/01/1991 VI.C. Carcinogen assessment references added
07/01/1991 I.A.7. Primary and secondary contacts changed
01/01/1992 IV. Regulatory Action section on-line
07/01/1993 I.A.6. Source Document and Other EPA Documentation clarified
09/01/1994 I.B. Inhalation RfD now under review
08/01/1995 I.B. EPA's RfD/RfC and CRAVE workgroups were discontinued in May, 1995. Chemical substance reviews that were not completed by September 1995 were taken out of IRIS review. The IRIS Pilot Program replaced the workgroup functions beginning in September, 1995.
04/01/1997 III., IV., V. Drinking Water Health Advisories, EPA Regulatory Actions, and Supplementary Data were removed from IRIS on or before April 1997. IRIS users were directed to the appropriate EPA Program Offices for this information.

Top of page


_VIII.  Synonyms

Substance Name — Anthracene
CASRN — 120-12-7
Last Revised — 09/01/1990

Top of page

Recent Additions | Search IRIS | IRIS Home | NCEA Home | ORD Home


Jump to main content.