Washington State University

Revised 3-11
Environmental Health and Safety

Chemical Carcinogens--Nonlaboratory Locations

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Chemical carcinogens are substances that are either known to cause cancer in humans or animals or are suspected of being capable of causing cancer in humans. State and federal regulations require that departments that use chemical carcinogens establish specific controls and procedures to protect employees.

The controls and procedures may include:

The specific controls, procedures, and regulatory requirements are dependent on the carcinogen and the location or type of use, e.g., laboratory or nonlaboratory.

Nonlaboratory -- applies to a location where manufacturing, processing, repackaging, releasing, handling, or storing of carcinogens occurs.

Laboratory -- applies to facilities where the "laboratory use of hazardous chemicals" occur. (See 4.14.) It is a workplace where relatively small quantities of hazardous chemicals are used on a nonproduction basis. The laboratory activities involve research and quality control activities.

Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) helps departments to identify carcinogens and interpret applicable regulatory requirements. Laboratories must contact EH&S for assistance with developing specific controls and procedures to meet regulatory requirements and protect human health; telephone 335-3041.


Department Chair

The department chair is to ensure that this policy is implemented.


The supervisor is responsible for:

To obtain a program template, see the Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) Chemical Safety/Hazard Communication web site at:


or contact EH&S; telephone 335-3041.

If carcinogens are introduced into the workplace, ensuring that training and information regarding the carcinogens is presented and documented prior to actual use.

Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S)

Once contacted by the supervisor, EH&S:


Employees working with chemicals are to:


Carcinogens are defined as substances that are either known to cause cancer in humans or animals or are suspected of being capable of causing cancer in humans. Substances are classified as carcinogens based upon state and federal regulations.

Regulated Carcinogens

The state of Washington Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) identifies the following chemical carcinogens in several sections of the Washington Administrative Code (WAC).

4-Nitrobiphenyl Benzidine
Alpha-Naphthylamine 4-Aminodiphenyl
4,4'-Methylene bis (2-chloroaniline) Ethyleneimine
Methyl chloromethyl ether Beta-Propiolactone
3,3'-Dichlorobenzidine (and salts) 2-Acetylaminofluorene
4-Dimethylaminoazobenzene Bis-Chloromethyl ether
Beta-Naphthylamine N-Nitrosodimethylamine
Vinyl Chloride Ethylene Oxide
Acrylonitrile Cadmium
1,2-Dibromo-3 chloropropane Butadiene
Inorganic Arsenic Methylene Chloride

If departmental workers are to perform tasks using any of these carcinogens, contact EH&S for information regarding the regulatory requirements for these carcinogens; telephone 335-3041.

Although a chemical may not be identified as a carcinogen by the state of Washington, additional standards may apply. There are several ways to determine whether a product is a carcinogen:

Review the chemical container label;

Check the product's Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for hazard information (see also 5.10);

View a list of known carcinogens in the National Toxicology Program (NTP) Annual Report on Carcinogens (latest edition) or the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Monographs (latest edition).


For assistance, contact EH&S; telephone 509-335-3041.