Gaseous formaldehyde and hydrogen chloride induction of nasal cancer in the rat

J Natl Cancer Inst. 1982 Apr;68(4):597-603.


The carcinogenic response to the combined and separate exposures to formaldehyde (HCHO) and hydrochloric acid (HCl) was investigated in male inbred SD rats. The rats were exposed to gaseous HCHO, 14 ppm, and HCl, 10 ppm, in two experiments. In one experiment the gases were premixed at high concentrations before being diluted in the exposure chamber air to maximize the formation of the carcinogen bis(chloromethyl)ether (BCME). In the second experiment exposure was repeated to HCl and HCHO premixed at high concentrations, and not premixed (to minimize BCME formation), as well as to HCHO alone and HCl alone. The second experiment is being reported on at an interim stage. HCHO alone induced squamous carcinomas of the nasal cavity as did the combined exposures to HCHO and HCl. No carcinogenic response was observed with HCl alone. HCHO accounted for most, if not all, of the carcinogenic activity of the mixture of HCHO-HCl.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bis(Chloromethyl) Ether / toxicity
  • Body Weight
  • Drug Interactions
  • Formaldehyde / toxicity*
  • Gases
  • Humans
  • Hydrochloric Acid / toxicity*
  • Male
  • Nasal Cavity*
  • Nasal Mucosa / drug effects
  • Nose Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Nose Neoplasms / mortality
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Risk


  • Gases
  • Formaldehyde
  • Bis(Chloromethyl) Ether
  • Hydrochloric Acid