Use of Chemical Carcinogens
This section has been reviewed and updated as needed: April 2014
Planning and implementation of control practices for the prevention of occupationally acquired cancer and for the protection of the general environment is to be included in all research programs involving known or suspected chemical carcinogens.
Chemical carcinogens are chemicals which have been demonstrated to cause tumors in mammalian species by induction of a tumor type not usually observed, by induction of an increased incidence of a tumor type normally seen, by the appearance of such tumors at an earlier time than would be otherwise expected, or by promotion of tumors initiated from exposure to other chemicals.
These policies apply to known or suspected chemical carcinogens. The OSHA Laboratory Standard 29 CFR 1910.1450 defines select carcinogens as those chemicals which are: regulated by OSHA as carcinogens; listed by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) as “known to be carcinogens”; listed by the International Agency for Research on Cancer Monographs (IARC) in Group 1 (carcinogenic to humans); listed by NTP as reasonably anticipated to be carcinogens or by IARC in Group 2A (probably carcinogenic to humans); and listed by IARC in Group 2B (possibly carcinogenic to humans) and causing statistically significant tumor incidence in experimental animals. The Environment, Health and Safety Office (919-962-5507) is to be consulted when questions arise about the carcinogenic potential of certain chemicals handled in laboratories. Lists of these chemicals are contained in the UNC Laboratory Safety Manual.
Principal Investigators are responsible for ensuring that laboratory personnel are trained in safe practices, for reporting exposures or potential exposures to chemical carcinogens to the Environment, Health and Safety Office, and for the submission of a Lab Safety Plan for the research under their direction to the Environment, Health and Safety Office.
The Lab Safety Plan is to describe the procedures that will be used to ensure the safe handling of chemical carcinogens, an assessment of the potential risks, the need for medical surveillance, procedures for handling accidental spills, and waste disposal methods. Chapter 7 of the Laboratory Safety Manual describes safety procedures for working with chemical carcinogens.
Proposed research projects involving chemical carcinogens are to be reviewed with the Environment, Health and Safety Office to ensure that the budget considers the specialized safety needs required when working with chemical carcinogens.
All overt accidental exposures of personnel to chemical carcinogens, such as exposure to a concentrated contaminated aerosol through research procedures, accidental spills, or accidental inoculation with a contaminated needle, are to be reported to the Environment, Health and Safety Office (919-962-5507).
Detailed standards governing the use of chemical carcinogens are available from the Environment, Health and Safety Office on request (919-962-5507).