Carcinogenic activity of ethylene oxide and its reaction products 2-chloroethanol, 2-bromoethanol, ethylene glycol and diethylene glycol. I. Carcinogenicity of ethylene oxide in comparison with 1,2-propylene oxide after subcutaneous administration in mice

Dunkelberg, H.

Zentralblatt fur Bakteriologie, Mikrobiologie und Hygiene, Serie B, Umwelthygiene, Krankenhaushygiene, Arbeitshygiene, praventive Medizin 174(5): 383-404


ISSN/ISBN: 0932-6073
PMID: 7342570
Accession: 004879211

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Ethylene oxide is an important initial product for a number of organic compounds and, in addition, is used in the medical field for sterilization. Ethylene oxide was compared with 1,2-propylene oxide with respect to their cancerogenic effects. Ethylene oxide was administered s.c. in 3 dosages (1.0; 0.3 and 0.1 mg single dosage per mouse) once per week to groups of 100 female NMRI mice. 1,2-Propylene oxide was administered in 4 dosages (2.5; 1.0; 0.3 and 0.1 mg) using tricaprylin. Administrations were carried out over 95 wk. The mean total dosage per mouse for ethylene oxide amounted to 64.4; 22.7 and 7.3 mg and for propylene oxide it was 165.4; 72.8; 21.7 and 6.8 mg. Both substances induced local tumors depending on the dosage. These were mostly fibrosarcomas. In the case of the groups treated with ethylene oxide the frequency was between 11-5% and in the case of the groups treated with 1,2-propylene oxide this was between 16-2%. The cancerogenic effect of ethylene oxide and 1,2-propylene oxide determined in animal experiments could be confirmed statistically. New aspects have arisen for the medical evaluation of ethylene oxide residues in the field of manufacturing and use and in respect to the TLV.