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Cobalt, Some Cobalt Compounds and TCE Receive New Listings in the 14th Report on Carcinogens

The American Board of Industrial Hygiene® (ABIH®) reminds workers and industry of the need to protect against exposures to potentially harmful substances.

Lansing, MI – WEBWIRE

TCE has been upgraded to known to be a human carcinogen and cobalt and some cobalt compounds are now listed as reasonably anticipated to be a known carcinogen.

In early November, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the 14th Report on Carcinogens (RoC). The cumulative report now includes 248 listings of agents, substances, mixtures and exposure circumstances that are known or reasonably anticipated to cause cancer in humans.
The congressionally mandated document prepared by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) for the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services includes 7 newly reviewed substances. Included in this list are trichloroethylene (TCE), cobalt and cobalt compounds that release cobalt ions in vivo.
TCE is a volatile liquid that is produced in large volumes for commercial use. According to the NTP, TCE can be released into the air, water and soil at places where it is produced or used. It breaks down slowly, so it can remain in the environment for long periods of time. TCE can move readily through soil and make its way into underground drinking water sources. It can also be an exposure risk due to vapor intrusion.
Cobalt is a naturally occurring metallic element that can be present in different forms. The NTP states that cobalt may enter the environment from both natural and human activities. Industrial plants can release cobalt and cobalt compounds into the air and soil. Individuals who work in the hard metal industry producing cobalt powder, work with diamond cutting wheels, or polish diamonds are at potentially high risk for exposure from inhalation of dust and fumes.
“TCE has been upgraded to known to be a human carcinogen and cobalt and some cobalt compounds are now listed as reasonably anticipated to be a known carcinogen,” said David Roskelley, CIH® and Chair of ABIH®. “Working to protect employees and communities from these and other potentially harmful substances are thousands of Certified Industrial Hygienists. CIHs are uniquely qualified to monitor exposure risks and implement workplace health and safety programs to protect workers, communities and keep companies in regulatory compliance. The extensive knowledge it takes to become a CIH® makes these professionals instrumental in reducing exposure risks to a wide range potential workplace hazards.”
To learn more about the American Board of Industrial Hygiene®, Certified Industrial Hygienist® credential or to locate a CIH® to perform industrial hygiene services, please visit, email or call (517) 321-2638.
About the American Board of Industrial Hygiene ®
Since 1960, ABIH®, a not-for-profit corporation, has been the world’s largest organization for certifying professionals in the practice of industrial hygiene. ABIH® is the premier credentialing body responsible for ensuring high-quality certification including education, experience, examination, certification maintenance and ethics enforcement.  Currently, more than 6800 people in 32 countries are certified to use the CIH® designation.

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