The carcinogenicity of inhaled 1,3-butadiene was evaluated in C57BL/6 × C3H F1 mice exposed to concentrations of this gas ranging from 6.25 to 625 ppm. Butadiene is a high production volume chemical, used mainly in the manufacture of synthetic rubber. In these 2-yr inhalation studies, a potent multisite carcinogenic response was observed, including neoplasms of the lung at concentrations as low as 6.25 ppm. Early occurrence and extensive development of lethal lymphocytic lymphomas in mice exposed to 625 ppm of butadiene reduced the number of animals at risk for the expression of later developing neoplasms at other sites; at lower exposure concentrations, dose responses were demonstrated for hemangiosarcomas of the heart and neoplasms of the lung, forestomach, Harderian gland, preputial gland, liver, mammary gland, and ovary. So far, no long-term studies on butadiene have been conducted at exposure concentrations that have not shown a carcinogenic response. In separate experiments with reduced exposure durations, butadiene induced neoplastic responses at multiple organ sites even after only 13 wk of exposure. Because of the correspondence between these animal data and recent epidemiology findings, there is a worldwide public health need to reevaluate current workplace exposure standards for 1,3-butadiene.

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