21 Jan 1991

Review of chemical and UV light induced melanomas in experimental animals in relation to human melanoma incidence

Report no. 91/52: Animal data relating to melanoma induction by polycyclic aromatichydrocarbons (PAHs) were examined for evidence on the likelihood of PAH exposure being responsible for the increase in melanomaincidence seen in workers from a few refineries. Of the PAHs, only 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA) had been reported to be capable of inducing melanoma, and then only in a few animal species under particular experimental conditions involving high dose levels.

In view of the low level of exposure to DMBA in refineries and the apparent inability of other PAHs or complex hydrocarbon mixtures to produce melanomas, together with the absence of any observed increase in other skin cancers in refinery workers, it was considered unlikely that any increase in melanoma incidence in such workers was the result of PAH exposure.