IRIS Assessment of AN
On June 30, 2011, the US EPA released a draft updated human health risk assessment of acrylonitrile as part of their Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) program. The EPA draft, which concludes that acrylonitrile is "likely to be carcinogenic to humans," strengthens EPA's previously adopted position that AN is "probably carcinogenic to humans." The EPA position is in direct opposition to previous assessments conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment (TERA) and the State of North Carolina as well as other scientific reviews by prominent experts. The TERA review Panel stated that "there is minimal risk to humans for cancer at current occupational and ambient exposure levels". While the EPA assessment associates AN with human cancer, it also reports that AN presents one-third the risk (i.e., less of a risk) reported in the previous EPA assessment. Nonetheless, EPA has categorized the risk of AN as being comparable to acrylonitrile and higher than benzene, butadiene and styrene, and other animal and potential human carcinogens.
Click here to read the AN Group Press Release on the draft IRIS assessment.