Polynuclear aromatic compounds, part 3, industrial exposures in aluminum production, coal gasification, coke production, and iron and steel founding.
IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of the Carcinogenic Risk of Chemical to Humans: Polynuclear Aromatic Compounds, Part 3, Industrial Exposures in Aluminum Production, Coal Gasification, Coke Production, and Iron and Steel Founding. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer, 1984 Jun; 34:1-224
The present volume considers some industries in which exposure to polynuclear aromatic compounds (PACs) may occur - aluminium production, coal gasification, coke production, and iron and steel founding, and is the third in a series of four volumes dealing with PACs. Volume 32 (IARC, 1983) of the Monographs considered chemical, environmental and experimental data on 48 individual PACs which occur in complex mixtures resulting from the combustion and pyrolysis of fossil fuels or products derived from them. In Volume 33 (IARC, 1984), experimental and epidemiological data on carbon blacks, mineral oils and some nitroarenes were considered. The four industries considered in the present volume were chosen on the basis of known exposures to PACs from coal- and petroleum-derived substances used in these industries and the availability of epidemiological studies suggesting a potential cancer hazard. An additional consideration was the fact that, worldwide, these industries employ more than two million people. Environmental exposures that occur outside the workplace are not considered in these monographs. The monograph on aluminium production covers only the electrolytic reduction of alumina to aluminium and the casting of aluminium into ingots and thus does not include bauxite mining, alumina extraction or founding and aluminium processing works. In the epidemiological studies reported in the early literature on coal carbonization, data on health effects from the process of coal gasification could not be distinguished from those from coke production; consequently, these early studies are evaluated separately. Most of the later epidemiological data, however, distinguish between workers employed in the production of town gas and workers employed at coke-oven plants in steel works where coke is the primary end product and where the gas, produced as a by-product, is used within the plant or locally. These studies are dealt with in the monographs on coal gasification and coke production, respectively. Gasification entails either the destructive distillation of coal or the treatment of coal in a reducing atmosphere (produced by partial oxidation of coal with oxygen, air and steam) to yield a combustible gaseous product. Data on working conditions and health effects in the newer processes, such as Lurgi gasifiers, are fragmentary. Coal liquefaction processes, to produce liquid hydrocarbons by hydrogenation, are not considered. The monograph on coke production is confined principally to slot-oven coke batteries and, therefore, is not representative of all processes, nor does it include data on all the possible products, by-products, and emissions from coal conversion. The iron and steel founding industry is defined here as starting with the melting of alloys and ending with the fettling of castings. Shaped castings manufactured in the foundries are distinguished from the ingots and other cast forms that are produced in iron and steel works outside the founding industry. The founding industry as defined comprises the following basic operations: patternmaking, moulding, core-making, melting and pouring, shake-out and fettling. A glossary of terms used in the four industries considered is provided at the end of this volume. Carcinogenicity studies in animals and studies on mutagenicity and related effects reported in these monographs include only those on samples of complex mixtures taken from the industry. Studies pertaining to crude coal-tars, as they might occur at the workplaces in question, have also been included. The tars were obtained from either gas retort houses or coke-oven plants, and the studies are reported in the relevant monograph. Epidemiological data on tar distillery workers have not been summarized, since such data, together with all epidemiological and experimental data on pharmaceutical coal-tars and coal-tar distillation products such as creosotes and coal-tar pitches will be considered by a Working Group convening in February 1984. That meeting will be the fourth in the series related to PACs and will also cover bitumens (asphalts), shale oils and chimney soots from domestic and institutional sources.