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Carcinogenicity of ethylene oxide and 1,2-propylene oxide upon intragastric administration to rats.

British Journal of Cancer
Nature Publishing Group
Publication Date
  • Research Article


Ethylene oxide and 1,2-propylene oxide were each administered intragastrically by gavage at 2 dosages (30 and 7.5 mg/kg body wt; 60 and 15 mg/kg body wt respectively) to groups of 50 female Sprague-Dawley rats twice weekly for a period of nearly 3 years using salad oil as the solvent. Both compounds induced local tumours, mainly squamous-cell carcinomas of the forestomach, dependent on the dosage. The first tumour occurred in the 79th week both in the group treated with ethylene oxide and in that treated with 1,2-propylene oxide. The following tumour rates resulted: ethylene oxide 62 and 16%; 1,2-propylene oxide 40 and 4%. In addition carcinomata in situ, papillomas and reactive changes of the squamous epithelium of the forestomach were observed in other animals, but neither ethylene oxide nor 1,2-propylene oxide induced tumours at sites away from the point of administration. Images Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 6

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