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EC number: 217-175-6 | CAS number: 1762-95-4
Thiocyanates are not genotoxic, and although thiocyanate is able to induce hyperplasia (goitre), it is not known whether humans are susceptible, as are rodents, to the development of thyroid cancer from thyroid-pituitary disruption.
Treatment with sodium thiocyante did not affect the treated rats noticably, mortality was not increased. There is no indication in the results of this study that sodium thiocyanate, alone or mixed with sodium nitrite is carcinogenic.
Chronic toxicity tests of sodium thiocyanate with sodium nitrite in F344 rats. Lijinsky W, Kovatch RM Toxicol Ind Health 1989 Jan 5:1 25-9.
Abstract: Sodium thiocyanate, a common environmental chemical, was found to increase the incidence of liver tumors in a group of rats treated with 0.08% in drinking water. To test the possibility that thiocyanate was catalyzing the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines from amines and nitrite in the food, a group of 20 male and 20 female rats was given a higher dose of sodium thiocyanate (0.32%) together with sodium nitrite (0.2%) in drinking water. Similar groups of rats were given 0.32% sodium thiocyanate or 0.2% sodium nitrite in drinking water or were untreated. All treatments lasted most of the lifetime of the rats, at least 2 years. There was no difference between the groups, treated or untreated, in survival, or in the incidence of any tumor that could be related to the treatment. The results indicate that sodium thiocyanate is without carcinogenic activity in rats, alone or combined with sodium nitrite.
A chronic study (Lijinsky W, Kovatch RM Toxicol Ind Health 1989 Jan 5:1 25-9) in rats supplied with 0.32% thiocyanate together with sodium nitrite (0.2%) in their drinking water for at least for 2 years, showed no effects in survival, or in the incidence of any tumor that could be related to the treatment. Due to limited reporting, a low validity was assigned to this report.
Thiocyanates are naturally occurring substances with ubiquitous presence in living nature. Many studies evaluated the background thiocyanate levels in serum of man showing levels between 23 to 50 µmol/L to up to 100 µmol/L in case of smokers.Tsuge (2000) reported background serum concentrations of thiocyanate of 33.5 ± 25.4 µM for non-smokers and 111.2 ± 92.1 µM smokers, and after diner levels up to 160 µM (equivalent to 12 mg NH4SCN/L!) in serum were seen (Eminedoki, 1994).Thiocyanates are not genotoxic, and although thiocyanate is able to induce hyperplasia (goitre), it is not known whether humans are susceptible, as are rodents, to the development of thyroid cancer from thyroid-pituitary disruption. In any case, it appears that humans are less sensitive to the carcinogenic effects than are rodents. Therefore, a further carcinogenicity study in rodents is not justified.
Thiocyanates are not genotoxic, and although thiocyanate is able to induce hyperplasia (goitre), it is not known whether humans are susceptible, as are rodents, to the development of thyroid cancer from thyroid-pituitary disruption. Available data is not sufficient to justify classification.
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