1,3-Butadiene

At a Glance

1,3-butadiene is a chemical processed from petroleum.[i] It is most commonly used in the production of rubber. 1,3-butadiene has been listed as a human carcinogen by the National Toxicology Program and by the Environmental Protection Agency.[ii],[iii]

What is 1,3-butadiene?

1,3-butadiene is an air pollutant that humans are most commonly exposed to through inhalation.[1]

Where is 1,3-butadiene found?

Traces of 1,3-butadiene can be found in plastics, fuel and water. It is also released into the atmosphere through diesel and gasoline exhaust as well as tobacco smoke.[2]

What evidence links 1,3-butadiene to breast cancer?

Over time, 1,3-butadiene interacts with other chemicals in the environment and breaks down into the metabolites (breakdown products) epoxybutene (BMO) and glutathione-S-transferase (GST). These metabolites can attach to DNA, beginning the process of tumor formation.[3]

  • A study done on rats and mice found that females exposed to 1,3-butadiene by inhalation experienced a higher incidence of mammary gland tumors. These females also experienced a higher mortality rate.[4]

Who is most likely to be exposed to 1,3-butadiene?

Everyone is exposed to 1,3-butadiene, but industrial workers involved in its production are exposed to the highest concentrations. Regions that have high levels of vehicle exhaust fumes in the air, such as cities, are also exposed at higher rates.[5]

Who is most vulnerable to the health effects of 1,3-butadiene?

Research conducted on animals suggests that women may be most vulnerable to the effects of 1,3-butadiene.[6]

What are the top tips to avoid exposure?

  • Workers should wear respirators when exposed to 1,3-butadiene.[7]
  • Everyone should avoid cigarette smoke.[8]

 

[i] Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry. (2011). 1,3-Butadiene. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/substances/toxsubstance.asp?toxid=81. Accessed July 12, 2016.

[ii] National Toxicology Program. (2014). Toxicology and Carcinogenesis Studies of 1,3-Butadiene (CAS No. 106-99-0) in B6C3F1 Mice (inhalation studies). http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/roc/content/profiles/butadiene.pdf. Accessed July 12, 2016.

[iii] U.S. EPA. Health Assessment of 1,3-Butadiene. (2002). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Center for Environmental Assessment. Accessed July 12, 2016. EPA/600/P-98/001F.

[1] U.S. EPA. Health Assessment of 1,3-Butadiene. (2002). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Center for Environmental Assessment. Accessed July 12, 2016 EPA/600/P-98/001F.

[2] National Toxicology Program. (2014). Toxicology and Carcinogenesis Studies of 1,3-Butadiene (CAS No. 106-99-0) in B6C3F1 Mice (inhalation Studies). https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/roc/content/profiles/butadiene.pdf. Accessed July 12, 2016.

[3] Melnick, R. L., & Kohn, M. C. (1995). Mechanistic data indicate that 1,3-butadiene is a human carcinogen. Carcinogenesis, 16(2), 157-163.

[4] Melnick, R., Sills, R., Portier, C., Roycroft, J., Chou, B., Grumbein, S. & Miller, R. (1999). Multiple organ carcinogenicity of inhaled chloroprene (2-chloro-1,3-butadiene) in F344/N rats and B6C3F1 mice and comparison of dose-response with 1,3-butadiene in mice. Carcinogenisis, 20(5): 867-878.

[5] National Toxicology Program. (2014). Toxicology and Carcinogenesis Studies of 1,3-Butadiene (CAS No. 106-99-0) in B6C3F1 Mice (inhalation Studies). https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/roc/content/profiles/butadiene.pdf. Accessed July 12, 2016.

[6] Melnick, R., Sills, R., Portier, C., Roycroft, J., Chou, B., Grumbein, S. & Miller, R. (1999). Multiple organ carcinogenicity of inhaled chloroprene (2-chloro-1,3-butadiene) in F344/N rats and B6C3F1 mice and comparison of dose-response with 1,3-butadiene in mice. Carcinogenisis, 20(5): 867-878.

[7] Occupational Safety and Health Topics. 1,3-Butadiene. https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/butadiene/solutions.html. Accessed July 12, 2016.

[8] National Toxicology Program. (2014). Toxicology and Carcinogenesis Studies of 1,3-Butadiene (CAS No. 106-99-0) in B6C3F1 Mice (inhalation Studies). https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/roc/content/profiles/butadiene.pdf. Accessed July 12, 2016.

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