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Journal Articles Environmental Health Perspectives Year : 2015

IARC monographs: 40 years of evaluating carcinogenic hazards to humans.

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Neil Pearce
  • Function : Author
Aaron Blair
  • Function : Author
Paolo Vineis
  • Function : Author
Wolfgang Ahrens
  • Function : Author
Aage Andersen
  • Function : Author
Josep M Anto
  • Function : Author
Andrea Baccarelli
Frederick A Beland
  • Function : Author
Amy Berrington
  • Function : Author
Pier Alberto Bertazzi
  • Function : Author
Lin Birnbaum
  • Function : Author
Ross C Brownson
  • Function : Author
John Bucher
  • Function : Author
Kenneth P Cantor
  • Function : Author
John Cherrie
  • Function : Author
David Christiani
  • Function : Author
David Coggon
  • Function : Author
Pietro Comba
  • Function : Author
Paul A Demers
  • Function : Author
John Dement
  • Function : Author
Jeroen Douwes
  • Function : Author
Ellen A Eisen
  • Function : Author
Lawrence S Engel
  • Function : Author
Richard Fenske
  • Function : Author
Lora E Fleming
  • Function : Author
Tony Fletcher
  • Function : Author
Elizabeth Fontham
  • Function : Author
Francesco Forastiere
Rainer Frentzel-Beyme
  • Function : Author
Lin Fritschi
Michel Gerin
  • Function : Author
Marcel Goldberg
Philippe Grandjean
  • Function : Author
Tom K Grimsrud
  • Function : Author
Per Gustavsson
  • Function : Author
Andy Haines
  • Function : Author
Patricia Hartge
  • Function : Author
John Hansen
  • Function : Author
Michael Hauptmann
  • Function : Author
Dick Heederik
  • Function : Author
Kari Hemminki
  • Function : Author
Irva Hertz-Picciotto
  • Function : Author
Jane A Hoppin
  • Function : Author
James Huff
  • Function : Author
Bengt Jarvholm
  • Function : Author
Daehee Kang
  • Function : Author
Margaret R Karagas
  • Function : Author
Kristina Kjaerheim
  • Function : Author
Helge Kjuus
  • Function : Author
David Kriebel
  • Function : Author
Petter Kristensen
  • Function : Author
Hans Kromhout
  • Function : Author
Francine Laden
  • Function : Author
Grace Lemasters
  • Function : Author
Jay H Lubin
  • Function : Author
Charles F Lynch
  • Function : Author
Elsebeth Lynge
  • Function : Author
Andrea 'T Mannetje
  • Function : Author
Anthony Mcmichael
  • Function : Author
John Mclaughlin
  • Function : Author
Loraine Marrett
  • Function : Author
Marco Martuzzi
  • Function : Author
James A Merchant
  • Function : Author
Enzo Merler
  • Function : Author
Franco Merletti
  • Function : Author
Anthony Miller
  • Function : Author
Franklin E Mirer
  • Function : Author
Richard Monson
  • Function : Author
Karl-Cristian Nordby
  • Function : Author
Andrew F Olshan
  • Function : Author
Frederica P Perera
  • Function : Author
Melissa J Perry
  • Function : Author
Angela Cecilia Pesatori
  • Function : Author
Roberta Pirastu
  • Function : Author
Miquel Porta
Eero Pukkala
  • Function : Author
David B Richardson
  • Function : Author
Leonard Ritter
  • Function : Author
Beate Ritz
  • Function : Author
Cecile M Ronckers
  • Function : Author
Lesley Rushton
  • Function : Author
Jennifer A Rusiecki
  • Function : Author
Ivan Rusyn
  • Function : Author
Jonathan M Samet
  • Function : Author
Dale P Sandler
  • Function : Author
Eva Schernhammer
  • Function : Author
Adele S. Constantini
  • Function : Author
Noah Seixas
  • Function : Author
Carl Shy
  • Function : Author
Debra T. Silvermann
  • Function : Author
Lorenzo Simonato
  • Function : Author
John Spinelli
  • Function : Author
Margaret R Spitz
  • Function : Author
Lorann Stallones
  • Function : Author
Leslie T Stayner
  • Function : Author
Kyle Steenland
  • Function : Author
Mark Stenzel
  • Function : Author
Bernard W Stewart
  • Function : Author
Patricia A Stewart
  • Function : Author
Elaine Symanski
  • Function : Author
Benedetto Terracini
  • Function : Author
Paige E Tolbert
  • Function : Author
Harri Vainio
  • Function : Author
John Vena
  • Function : Author
Roel Vermeulen
  • Function : Author
Cesar G Victora
  • Function : Author
Elizabeth M Ward
  • Function : Author
Clarice R Weinberg
  • Function : Author
Dennis Weisenburger
  • Function : Author
Catharina Wesseling
  • Function : Author
Shelia Hoar Zahm
  • Function : Author
Adele Seniori Costantini
  • Function : Author
Debra T Silverman
  • Function : Author

Abstract

Recently, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Programme for the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans has been criticized for several of its evaluations, and also for the approach used to perform these evaluations. Some critics have claimed that failures of IARC Working Groups to recognize study weaknesses and biases of Working Group members have led to inappropriate classification of a number of agents as carcinogenic to humans.
The authors of this Commentary are scientists from various disciplines relevant to the identification and hazard evaluation of human carcinogens. We examined criticisms of the IARC classification process to determine the validity of these concerns. Here, we present the results of that examination, review the history of IARC evaluations, and describe how the IARC evaluations are performed.
We concluded that these recent criticisms are unconvincing. The procedures employed by IARC to assemble Working Groups of scientists from the various disciplines and the techniques followed to review the literature and perform hazard assessment of various agents provide a balanced evaluation and an appropriate indication of the weight of the evidence. Some disagreement by individual scientists to some evaluations is not evidence of process failure. The review process has been modified over time and will undoubtedly be altered in the future to improve the process. Any process can in theory be improved, and we would support continued review and improvement of the IARC processes. This does not mean, however, that the current procedures are flawed.
The IARC Monographs have made, and continue to make, major contributions to the scientific underpinning for societal actions to improve the public's health.

Dates and versions

pasteur-01352626 , version 1 (08-08-2016)

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Neil Pearce, Aaron Blair, Paolo Vineis, Wolfgang Ahrens, Aage Andersen, et al.. IARC monographs: 40 years of evaluating carcinogenic hazards to humans.. Environmental Health Perspectives, 2015, 123 (6), pp.507-14. ⟨10.1289/ehp.1409149⟩. ⟨pasteur-01352626⟩
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