Environmental research

Hazard identification of the potential for dieldrin carcinogenicity to humans.

PMID 24727642


Although dieldrin׳s use in the U.S. was partially banned in the 1970s and its use was completely eliminated in 1987, dieldrin continues to be a common contaminant at hazardous waste sites. The USEPA׳s current cancer potency estimate for dieldrin was derived in 1987 and is based on the production of mouse liver tumors. Because of its environmental persistence and its relatively high USEPA cancer potency estimate, dieldrin functions as a cleanup "driver" in many hazardous site remediations. Since 1987, new risk assessment perspectives and new data on dieldrin׳s carcinogenic potential have arisen. This review presents a reassessment of dielrin׳s human cancer potential in light of these new data and new perspectives. Based on this reassessment, dieldrin may be carcinogenic through multiple modes of action. These modes of action may operate within the same tissue, or may be specific to individual tissues. Of the several possible carcinogenic modes of action for dieldrin, one or more may be more relevant to human cancer risk than others, but the relative importance of each is unknown. In addition, neither the details of the possible modes of action, nor the shape of the tumor dose-response curves associated with each are sufficiently well known to permit quantitative cancer dose-response modeling. Thus, the mouse liver tumor data used by the USEPA in its 1987 assessment remain the only quantitative data available for cancer dose-response modeling.