Publications from the Carcinogenic Potency Project


Food Chemical Risk Analysis, David R. Tennant, ed., New York: Chapman and Hall, 1997, pp. 267-295

Prioritization of Possible Carcinogenic Hazards in Food

Lois Swirsky Gold, Thomas H. Slone, and Bruce N. Ames


Table 3. Ranking Possible Carcinogenic Hazards from Average U.S. Dietary Exposures to Natural and Synthetic Chemicals. (Chemicals that occur naturally in foods are in bold.)a


Possible hazard: HERP (%) Average daily US consumption Human dose of rodent carcinogen Average exposure: References
2.1 Beer, 257 g Ethyl alcohol, 13.1 ml Stofberg and Grundschober, 1987
0.5 Wine, 28.0 g Ethyl alcohol, 3.36 ml Stofberg and Grundschober, 1987
0.1 Coffee, 13.3 g Caffeic acid, 23.9 mg Stofberg and Grundschober, 1987
0.04 Lettuce, 14.9 g Caffeic acid, 7.90 mg Technical Assessment Systems, 1989
0.03 Safrole in spices Safrole, 1.2 mg Hall et al., 1989
0.03 Orange juice, 138 g d-Limonene, 4.28 mg Technical Assessment Systems, 1989
0.03 Pepper, black, 446 mg d-Limonene, 3.57 mg Stofberg and Grundschober, 1987
0.02 Mushroom (Agaricus bisporus 2.55 g) Mixture of hydrazines, etc. (whole mushroom) Stofberg and Grundschober, 1987
0.02 Apple, 32.0 g Caffeic acid, 3.40 mg USEPA, 1989b
0.02 Coffee, 13.3 g Catechol, 1.33 mg Stofberg and Grundschober, 1987
0.02 Coffee, 13.3 g Furfural, 2.09 mg Stofberg and Grundschober, 1987
0.01 Beer (before 1979), 257 g Dimethylnitrosamine, 726 ng Stofberg and Grundschober, 1987
0.009 BHA: daily US average (1975) BHA, 4.6 mg USFDA, 1991b
0.008 Aflatoxin: daily US average (1984-89) Aflatoxin, 18 ng USFDA, 1992
0.006 Coffee, 13.3 g Hydroquinone, 333 µg Stofberg and Grundschober, 1987
0.005 Saccharin: daily US average (1977) Saccharin, 7 mg National Research Council, 1979
0.005 Carrot, 12.1 g Aniline, 624 µg Technical Assessment Systems, 1989,Neurath et al., 1977
0.004 Potato, 54.9 g Caffeic acid, 867 µg Technical Assessment Systems, 1989
0.004 Celery, 7.95 g Caffeic acid, 858 µg Economic Research Service, 1994
0.004 White bread, 67.6 g Furfural, 500 µg Stofberg and Grundschober, 1987
0.003 Nutmeg, 27.4 mg d-Limonene, 466 µg Stofberg and Grundschober, 1987
0.002 Carrot, 12.1 g Caffeic acid, 374 µg Technical Assessment Systems, 1989
0.002 Ethylene thiourea: daily US average (1990) Ethylene thiourea, 9.51 µg USEPA, 1991
0.002 DDT: daily US average (before 1972 ban) DDT, 13.8 µg Duggan and Corneliussen, 1972
0.001 Plum, 2.00 g Caffeic acid, 276 µg Economic Research Service, 1995
0.001 BHA: daily US average (1987) BHA, 700 µg USFDA, 1991b
0.001 Pear, 3.29 g Caffeic acid, 240 µg Stofberg and Grundschober, 1987
0.001 UDMH: daily US average (1988) UDMH, 2.82 µg (from Alar) USEPA, 1989a
0.0009 Brown mustard, 68.4 mg Allyl isothiocyanate, 62.9 µg Stofberg and Grundschober, 1987
0.0008 Cinnamon, 21.9 mg Coumarin, 65.0 µg National Toxicology Program, 1993,Poole and Poole, 1994
0.0008 DDE: daily US average (before 1972 ban) DDE, 6.91 µg Duggan and Corneliussen, 1972
0.0007 TCDD: daily US average (1994) TCDD, 12.0 pg/day USEPA, 1994
0.0007 Bacon, 11.5 g Diethylnitrosamine, 11.5 ng Stofberg and Grundschober, 1987
0.0006 Mushroom (Agaricus bisporus 2.55 g) Glutamyl-p-hydrazinobenzoate, 107 µg Stofberg and Grundschober, 1987
0.0004 Bacon, 11.5 g N-Nitrosopyrrolidine, 196 ng Stofberg and Grundschober, 1987
0.0004 Bacon, 11.5 g Dimethylnitrosamine, 34.5 ng Stofberg and Grundschober, 1987
0.0004 EDB: Daily US average (before 1984 ban) EDB, 420 ng USEPA, 1984
0.0004 Tap water, 1 liter (1987-92) Bromodichloromethane 13 µg American Water Works Association, 1993
0.0003 Mango, 1.22 g d-Limonene, 48.8 µg Economic Research Service, 1995
0.0003 Beer, 257 g Furfural, 39.9 µg Stofberg and Grundschober, 1987
0.0003 Tap water, 1 liter (1987-92) Chloroform, 17 µg American Water Works Association, 1993
0.0003 Carbaryl: daily US average (1990) Carbaryl, 2.6 µg USFDA, 1991a
0.0002 Celery, 7.95 g 8-Methoxypsoralen, 4.86 µg Economic Research Service, 1994
0.0002 Toxaphene: daily US average (1990) Toxaphene, 595 ng USFDA, 1991a
0.00009 Mushroom (Agaricus bisporus 2.55 g) p-Hydrazinobenzoate, 28 µg Stofberg and Grundschober, 1987
0.00008 PCBs: daily US average (1984-86) PCBs, 98 ng Gunderson, 1995
0.00008 DDE/DDT: daily US average (1990) DDE, 659 ng USFDA, 1991a
0.00007 Parsnip, 54.0 mg 8-Methoxypsoralen, 1.57 µg United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association, 1989
0.00006 Hamburger, pan fried, 85 g PhIP, 176 ng Technical Assessment Systems, 1989
0.00005 Estragole in spices Estragole, 1.99 µg Stofberg and Grundschober, 1987
0.00005 Parsley, fresh, 324 mg 8-Methoxypsoralen, 1.17 µg United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association, 1989
0.00003 Hamburger, pan fried, 85 g MeIQx, 38.1 ng Technical Assessment Systems, 1989
0.00002 Dicofol: daily US average (1990) Dicofol, 544 ng USFDA, 1991a
0.00001 Cocoa, 3.34 g alpha-Methylbenzyl alcohol, 4.3 µg Stofberg and Grundschober, 1987
0.00001 Beer, 257 g Urethane, 115 ng Stofberg and Grundschober, 1987
0.000005 Hamburger, pan fried, 85 g IQ, 6.38 ng Technical Assessment Systems, 1989
0.000001 Lindane: daily US average (1990) Lindane, 32 ng USFDA, 1991a
0.0000004 PCNB: daily US average (1990) PCNB (Quintozene), 19.2 ng USFDA, 1991a
0.0000001 Chlorobenzilate: daily US average (1989) Chlorobenzilate, 6.4 ng USFDA, 1991a
0.00000006 Captan: daily US average (1990) Captan, 115 ng USFDA, 1991a
<0.00000001 Chlorothalonil: daily US average (1990) Chlorothalonil, <6.4 ng USFDA, 1991a
0.000000008 Folpet: daily US average (1990) Folpet, 12.8 ng USFDA, 1991a

aCarcinogenic potency (TD50), values and additional exposure references can be found in Gold et al. (1997b).

Abbreviations: BHA, butylated hydroxyanisole; ETU, ethylene thiourea; EDB, ethylene dibromide; PCB, polychlorinated biphenyls; TCDD, tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin; UDMH, 1,1-dimethylhydrazine; PhIP, 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]-pyridine; MeIQx, 2-amino-3,8-dimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline; IQ, 2-amino-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoline; PCNB, pentachloronitrobenzene; MeIQ, 2-amino-3,4-dimethylmidazo[4,5-f]quinoline


Return to the Carcinogenic Potency Project Home Page: Return to home page

Last updated: April 14, 1999


PDF documents are best viewed with the free Adobe® Reader http://get.adobe.com/reader
Excel documents are best viewed with the free Excel® Viewer http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=10