Preamble to the IARC Monographs


5. Summary

This section is a summary of data presented in the preceding sections. Summaries can be found on the Monographs programme website (

(a) Exposure data

Data are summarized, as appropriate, on the basis of elements such as production, use, occurrence and exposure levels in the workplace and environment and measurements in human tissues and body fluids. Quantitative data and time trends are given to compare exposures in different occupations and environmental settings. Exposure to biological agents is described in terms of transmission, prevalence and persistence of infection.

(b) Cancer in humans

Results of epidemiological studies pertinent to an assessment of human carcinogenicity are summarized. When relevant, case reports and correlation studies are also summarized. The target organ(s) or tissue(s) in which an increase in cancer was observed is identified. Dose-response and other quantitative data may be summarized when available.

(c) Cancer in experimental animals

Data relevant to an evaluation of carcinogenicity in animals are summarized. For each animal species, study design and route of administration, it is stated whether an increased incidence, reduced latency, or increased severity or multiplicity of neoplasms or preneoplastic lesions were observed, and the tumour sites are indicated. If the agent produced tumours after prenatal exposure or in single-dose experiments, this is also mentioned. Negative findings, inverse relationships, dose-response and other quantitative data are also summarized.

(d) Mechanistic and other relevant data

Data relevant to the toxicokinetics (absorption, distribution, metabolism, elimination) and the possible mechanism(s) of carcinogenesis (e.g. genetic toxicity, epigenetic effects) are summarized. In addition, information on susceptible individuals, populations and life-stages is summarized. This section also reports on other toxic effects, including reproductive and developmental effects, as well as additional relevant data that are considered to be important.

Posted 23 January 2006