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IARC Monographs – General Information

The IARC Monographs identify environmental factors that are carcinogenic hazards to humans. These include chemicals, complex mixtures, occupational exposures, physical agents, biological agents, and lifestyle factors. National health agencies can use this information as scientific support for their actions to prevent exposure to potential carcinogens.

Interdisciplinary working groups of expert scientists review the published studies and assess the strength of the available evidence that an agent can cause cancer in humans. The principles, procedures, and scientific criteria that guide the evaluations are described in the Preamble to the IARC Monographs.

Since 1971, more than 1000 agents have been evaluated, of which more than 500 have been identified as carcinogenic, probably carcinogenic, or possibly carcinogenic to humans. 

Read the IARC Monographs Q&A for answers to commonly asked questions on the evaluation process.

The IARC Monographs have received funding from:

  • United States National Cancer Institute (Cooperative Agreement 5-U01-CA33193)
  • United States National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
  • European Commission Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs, and Inclusion (initially from the Unit of Health, Safety and Hygiene at Work, and since 2014 from the European Union Programme for Employment and Social Innovation, EaSI)