HHS adds 17 substances, including first viruses, to list of cancer-causing agents

Monday, January 31st 2005, 10:30 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The government on Monday added 17 substances to the official list of cancer-causing agents, including the first viruses: hepatitis B and C and some human papillomaviruses that cause common sexually transmitted diseases.

Lead and lead compounds, X-rays, compounds found in grilled meats and various substances used in textile dyes, paints and inks are among the other new listings, the Department of Health and Human Services said in releasing the 11th edition of the federal Report on Carcinogens.

The additions bring to 246 the total number of substances that either are ``known to be human carcinogens'' or ``reasonably anticipated to be human carcinogens.'' The report now lists 58 ``known'' _ including the viruses _ and 188 ``reasonably anticipated'' substances.

Hepatitis B and C, which cause liver disease, were added because studies in humans show that chronic infections cause liver cancer. Some of the human papillomaviruses, which are sexually transmitted, were included because studies show they cause cervical cancer in women, the department said.

Federal law requires the HHS secretary to publish the report every two years.