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The IARC Monographs: a resource for precaution and prevention? The new Preamble does not fit
  1. P Crosignani
  1. Paolo Crosignani, National Cancer Institute, 1, Via Venezian, 1-20133 Milano, Italy; occam{at}istitutotumori.mi.it

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In the last issue of the Journal, Cogliano presented the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Monographs as a tool both for precaution and prevention (Occup Environ Med 2008;64:572). If true in the past, the new Preamble severely impairs this potential.

In fact, a new task for the working group has been introduced: “the target organ(s) or tissue(s) in which an increase in cancer was observed is identified” and “a statement that there is sufficient evidence is followed by a separate sentence that identifies the target organ(s) or tissue(s) in which an increase in cancer was observed in humans. Identification of a specific target organ or tissue does not preclude the possibility that the agent may cause cancer …

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