Preamble to the IARC Monographs


The available studies are summarized by the Working Group, with particular regard to the qualitative aspects discussed below. In general, numerical findings are indicated as they appear in the original report; units are converted when necessary for easier comparison. The Working Group may conduct additional analyses of the published data and use them in their assessment of the evidence; the results of such supplementary analyses are given in square brackets. When an important aspect of a study that directly impinges on its interpretation should be brought to the attention of the reader, a Working Group comment is given in square brackets.

The scope of the IARC Monographs programme has expanded beyond chemicals to include complex mixtures, occupational exposures, physical and biological agents, lifestyle factors and other potentially carcinogenic exposures. Over time, the structure of a Monograph has evolved to include the following sections:

1. Exposure data
2. Studies of cancer in humans
3. Studies of cancer in experimental animals
4. Mechanistic and other relevant data
5. Summary
6. Evaluation and rationale

In addition, a section of General Remarks at the front of the volume discusses the reasons the agents were scheduled for evaluation and some key issues the Working Group encountered during the meeting.

This part of the Preamble discusses the types of evidence considered and summarized in each section of a Monograph, followed by the scientific criteria that guide the evaluations.


Posted 23 January 2006