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A review of potential human carcinogenicity of the chlorophenoxy herbicides MCPA, MCPP, and 2,4-DP.

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  • Research Article
  • Biology
  • Medicine
  • Pharmacology


For the purpose of assessing the human carcinogenic potential of the chlorophenoxy herbicides MCPA, MCPP, and 2,4-DP, the relevant epidemiological and toxicological evidence is reviewed. These compounds have not produced tumours in animal studies conducted under current test guidelines, giving no reason to predict that they would be carcinogenic to humans. Epidemiological studies have been conducted on three continents; greater emphasis is placed on the studies reported from western Europe, however, as this has been the area of more use. Although several of these studies provide suggestive evidence of associations between exposure to chlorophenoxy compounds and increased risks for some uncommon cancers, it is inconsistent and far from conclusive. None of the evidence specifically implicates MCPA, MCPP, or 2,4-DP as human carcinogens.

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