|Formaldehyde study named best paper of the year by Society of Toxicology|
|January 28, 2011|
A study examining the carcinogenic effects of inhaled formaldehyde, published August 2010 in Toxicological Sciences, has been named best paper of the year by the Society of Toxicology's (SOT) Board of Publications.
The paper, "Distribution of DNA Adducts Caused by Inhaled Formaldehyde is Consistent with Induction of Nasal Carcinoma but Not Leukemia," uncovers evidence that inhaled formaldehyde is an unlikely cause of leukemia, even though it is a recognized cause of cancer in the nasal passages and throat (nasopharyngeal cancer) in humans and animals.
"Until now, the epidemiological evidence has been inconclusive, but we have been able to show that DNA adducts did not form anywhere except in the upper respiratory system," said James Swenberg, DVM, PhD, Kenan Distinguished Professor of environmental sciences and engineering in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and senior author of the paper. "This finding supports our conclusion that inhaled formaldehyde is unlikely to cause genotoxic effects - leading to cancer - anywhere in the body beyond the portal of entry, which is the nose and throat."
Swenberg and other authors will be honored at the SOT's 50th anniversary awards ceremony on March 6 in Washington, D.C. Toxicological Sciences, the official journal of the Society, is ranked in the top four most-cited journals in toxicology, with an impact factor of 4.814.
Formaldehyde is an organic compound frequently used in industry, for example to make resins and coatings. It also is used as a disinfectant and as an embalming agent. It has long been the subject of research and evaluation by Swenberg, who, in the 1980s, discovered that formaldehyde caused nasal cancer in rats. Today, his lab produces data to help regulators make science-based decisions about safe levels of formaldehyde exposure. He directs the UNC Center for Environmental Health and Susceptibility.
The article is available online.