International Agency for Research on Cancer

International Agency For Research On Cancer

International Agency for Research on Cancer

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Description:
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC; ) is an intergovernmental agency forming part of the World Health Organisation of the United Nations.

Its main offices are in Lyon, France. Its role is to conduct and coordinate research into the causes of cancer. It also conducts epidemiological studies into the occurrence of cancer worldwide. It maintains a series of monographs on the carcinogenic risks to humans posed by a variety of agents, mixtures and exposures.

IARC categories

The IARC categorizes agents, mixtures and exposures into five categories.
  • Group 1: carcinogenic to humans.
  • Group 2A: probably carcinogenic to humans.
  • Group 2B: possibly carcinogenic to humans.
  • Group 3: not classifiable as to carcinogenicity in humans.
  • Group 4: probably not carcinogenic to humans. Only one substance – caprolactam – has both been assessed for carcinogenicity by the IARC and placed in this category.


Industry influence and transparency

Critics of the IARC have stated that it has become susceptible to industry influence and suffers from a lack of transparency. Lorenzo Tomatis, its director from 1982 to 1993, was "barred from entering the building" in 2003 after "accusing the IARC of softpedaling the risks of industrial chemicals"...
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