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Description of key information

There are no reliable carcinogenicity study data available on octan-1-ol.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Carcinogenicity: via oral route

Endpoint conclusion
Endpoint conclusion:
no study available

Carcinogenicity: via inhalation route

Endpoint conclusion
Endpoint conclusion:
no study available

Carcinogenicity: via dermal route

Endpoint conclusion
Endpoint conclusion:
no adverse effect observed
Quality of whole database:
Rel 4 study

Justification for classification or non-classification

Based on the weight of evidence available, octan-1-ol is does not require classification for carcinogenicity according to Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008.


Additional information

In a carcinogenicity study by Sice (1966; rel 4), the tumour promoting activity of a range of alcohols, including octan-1-ol was investigated in mice. Tumour promoting activity was observed in some of the alcohols, including octan-1-ol, with the maximum effect being observed at C10 (decan-1-ol). It was also noted however that skin irritation was present at the application site in all of these skin painting experiments; the most severe irritation being observed with the C10 and C12 alcohols. Unfortunately this is a significant confounder in skin painting studies and its role in tumour development of non-genotoxic chemicals has been well established. It is therefore considered likely that the tumour effects noted were due to the irritation observed in the study. In a limited study, no carcinogenicity was seen in mice injected thrice weekly with octan-1-ol at up to 500 mg/kg bw for 8 weeks (providing a total dose of up to 12 g/kg bw) and observed for a further 16 weeks. (Stoner et al 1973, rel; 4).

Discussion of trends in the Category of C6-24 linear and essentially-linear aliphatic alcohols:

Several members of the category of the LCAAs have been tested as control substances in skin painting studies. Even taking into account the limitations of these experiments, the data show that none of aliphatic alcohols tested have a potential to induce local skin tumours upon repeated dermal application at or above the maximum tolerated (irritant) dose. However, these data are unsuitable to assess properties such as co-carcinogenicity or tumour promotion for this category. Most of the study protocols considered here have almost certainly induced considerable local effects, however details of the irritation responses are limited and were reported only in a few cases. Irrespective of the causative agent, irritation at the site of application is a significant confounder in skin painting studies and its role in the tumour development of non-genotoxic chemicals has been well established (for examples see Nessel et al., 1998, 1999; Argyris, 1985).

LCAAs are non-genotoxic and lack structural elements of concern for interaction with DNA (Ashby and Tenant, 1991). Together with the lack of response upon repeated application the skin painting studies LCAAs are regarded to be of little concern regarding carcinogenicity. The large set of various types of repeated dose studies across the category which do not offer any evidence of treatment-related induction of hyperplasia/pre-neoplastic lesions for any of the structurally related alcohols (though reporting is limited in many cases), and the lack of genotoxic effects demonstrated across the category, suggest that none of the category members are likely to be carcinogenic.

Argyris T.S. 1985, Regeneration and the mechanism of epidermal tumor promotion. Crit Rev Toxicol: 14(3):211-58.

Nessel, C.S., Freeman, J.L et al. 1999 The role of dermal irritation in the skin tumor promoting activity of petroleum middle distillates. Toxicological Sciences 49: 48-55.

Nessel, C.S.; Priston, R.A.J.; et al. 1998 A comprehensive evaluation of the mechanism of skin tumorigenesis by straight-run and cracked petroleum middle distillate

Toxicological Sciences 44: 22-31.