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IARC: International Agency for Research on Cancer


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The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is a part of the World Health Organization. Their web home page is

IARC's mission is to coordinate and conduct research on the causes of human cancer, the mechanisms of carcinogenesis, and to develop scientific strategies for cancer control.

Do not confuse this IARC with the International Arctic Research Center, which is unlikely to occur in the context of a Safety Data Sheet.

Additional Info

IARC compiles several databases on carcinogenic risk to humans, epidemiology and cancer control.

The IARC Monographs series is one of three resources that OSHA uses to list a material as known or probable human carcinogen. You can view this list of 1,017 agents reviewed in the monographs.

IARC classifies agents (chemicals, mixtures, occupational exposures etc.) into four basic categories:

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If the Safety Data Sheet author has found evidence the material poses a carcinogenic risk following the hazard classification procedure listed in Section A.6 of Appendix A to 29 CFR 1910.1200, that information will appear in Section 11 (Toxicological information) of the SDS. OSHA requires the author to either perform a detailed classification process or they may rely on information from IARC, the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP), or OSHA itself.

NOTE: IARC Groups are NOT the same as the rating used in the Hazard Classification. The GHS procedure that is used by OSHA assigns carcinogens to either Category 1 (known human carcinogen) or Category 2 (suspected human carcinogen) and those do not align with IARC's Groups. See Figure A.6.1 of Appendix A of the HazCom Standard for more information on OSHA's hazard categories.

Further Reading

See also: carcinogen, teratogen, toxic.

Additional definitions from Google and OneLook.

Entry last updated: Monday, January 2, 2023. This page is copyright 2000-2023 by ILPI. Unauthorized duplication or posting on other web sites is expressly prohibited. Send suggestions, comments, and new entry desires (include the URL if applicable) to us by email.

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