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Carcinogenicity

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Description of key information

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information

There are no carcinogenicity studies available for 2-mercaptoethanol. However, a consideration of its simple chemical structure, which has no reactive groups and carries no alerts for likely genotoxic carcinogenic activity from established Structure Activity Relationship analysis (Ashby and Tennant, 1988), together with the conclusion that 2-mercaptoethanol is not genotoxic, provide a strong case for concluding that it will not show any significant carcinogenic activity. Taking this information into account, it is considered that there is no justification for conducting further animal carcinogenicity studies. The above reasoning leads to the conclusion that 2-mercaptoethanol can be considered to have low concern for human carcinogenicity.

The following information is taken into account for any hazard / risk assessment:

No specific carcinogenicity data are available on 2-mercaptoethanol, however, its simple chemical structure with no reactive groups and no structural alerts for likely genotoxic carcinogenic activity, together with the conclusion that 2-mercaptoethanol is not genotoxic, provide a strong case for concluding that it not will show any significant carcinogenic activity.

References:

Ashby J and Tennant RW (1988) Chemical structure, Salmonella mutagenicity and extent of carcinogenicity as indicators of genotoxic carcinogenesis among 222 chemicals tested in rodents by the U. S. NCI/NTP. Mutat Res 204: 17-115.

Justification for classification or non-classification

In accordance with section 1 of REACH Annex XI, testing does not appear to be scientifically necessary since negative genotoxicity data and consideration of its simple chemical structure provide sufficient weight of evidence to conclude 2-mercaptoethanol is unlikely to show any significant carcinogenic activity.

2-Mercaptoethanol has a low potential for carcinogenicity and therefore do not warrant classification under DSD or GHS/CLP.