Identification of substances with a carcinogenic potential in spray-formulated engine/brake cleaners and lubricating products, available in the European Union (EU) – based on IARC and EU-harmonised classifications and QSAR predictions


Spray-formulated engine/brake cleaners and lubricating agents are widely used to maintain machines. The occupational exposure to their aerosols is evident. To assess the carcinogenic potential of these products, we identified such products available in the European Union (EU). We built a database with CAS numbers of 1) mono-constituent substances, and 2) multi-constituent-substances, and unknown-or-variable-composition,-complex-reaction-products-and-biological-materials (multi-constituent/UVCBs). The compositions of multi-constituent/UVCBs were unravelled with European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) registration dossiers. To identify carcinogenic potentials, we searched for 1) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classification; 2) Harmonised classifications in Annex VI to the EU classification, labelling and packaging (CLP) Regulation; and 3) whether they had a Danish Environmental Protection Agency advisory CLP self-classification based on quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSARs) for genotoxicity and carcinogenicity in the Danish (Q)SAR Database. In 82 products, we identified 332 mono-constituent substances and 44 multi-constituent/UVCBs. Six substances were either IARC 1 or 2B classified. Twelve mono-constituent substances and 22 multi-constituent/UVCBs had harmonised classifications as Carcinogenic Category 1A, 1B or 2, while nine substances fulfilled the QSAR-based advisory self-classification algorithms for mutagenicity or carcinogenicity. At the product level, 39 products contained substances of carcinogenic concern by either IARC, harmonised classification or QSAR. We conclude that in the investigated EU marketed spray-formulated engine/brake cleaners and lubricants, 24 of 332 mono-constituent substances and 28 of 44 multi-constituent/UVCBs had a carcinogenic potential. At the product level, 39 of 82 contained substances with an identified carcinogenic potential. Regulators and manufacturers can use this determination of carcinogenic potential to decrease occupational risk.

Authors: Jorid B Sørli, Marie Frederiksen, Nikolai G Nikolov, Eva B Wedebye, Niels Hadrup
; Full Source: Toxicology 2022 Jul 18;153261. doi: 10.1016/j.tox.2022.153261.