Chronic Inhalation/Carcinogenicity Studies

Chronic Inhalation/Carcinogenicity Studies and their Applications to Prevent the Occupational Cancers


Kyung-Taek Rim


Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute, KOSHA


Backgrounds/aims: There are many carcinogens in workplaces that could cause occupational cancers. Compared with acute toxicity, chronic toxicity is a property of a substance that has toxic effects on a living organism when that organism is exposed to the chemicals continuously or repeatedly. Due to the increasing awareness of the importance of chronic toxicity or carcinogenicity studies, this type of research is on the rise, as much information can be gained from investigating occupational cancers.

Methods: This study involves a critical review of the recent literature relating to chronic-inhalation or carcinogenicity tests that have been reported regarding inhalation exposure in laboratory animals, including rats and mice.

Results: Many of the chronic-inhalation/carcinogenicity studies are performed by governmental and for-profit-organizations, such as the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the US National Toxicology Program (NTP), the Japan Bioassay Research Center (JBRC), and the Battelle Institute, etc. As research leads to the development of novel types of industrial chemicals, there is a growing need to understand and evaluate the health impacts of these new chemicals in terms of occupational cancers; thus it is essential that we undertake proper and informative research and decision-making.

Conclusions: Future research is needed to better characterize the toxicity associated with the chronic inhalation of chemicals and to refine the development of toxicity values. The Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute (OSHRI) in Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency (KOSHA) are attempting to develop a robust system for chronic-inhalation/carcinogenicity studies and our goal is to undertake multiple studies to prevent occupational cancers.