IARC Monograph: PFOA "Possibly Carcinogenic to Humans"

Published July 27, 2016

​A monograph recently published online by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, as possibly carcinogenic to humans. The monograph discusses “limited evidence” in humans for the carcinogenicity of PFOA, and identifies a positive association between exposure to PFOA and cancers of the testis and kidney. According to the monograph, PFOA has been used in non-stick coatings on cookware; membranes for waterproof, breathable clothing; electrical-wire casing; and fire- and chemical-resistant tubing. It’s also been used in cosmetics, greases and lubricants, paints, polishes, and adhesives.

The newly published monograph is available on IARC’s website (PDF).

IARC notes that monographs for tetrafluoroethylene, dichloromethane, 1,2-dichloropropane, and 1,3-propane sultone will be available soon.

IARC monographs identify and evaluate environmental factors that can increase carcinogenic risks to humans. IARC is the specialized cancer agency of the World Health Organization, and government agencies worldwide use its monographs as scientific support for their actions to prevent exposure to potential carcinogens.