Lack of carcinogenicity of medium-viscosity liquid paraffin given in the diet to F344 rats

Food Chem Toxicol. 1997 Dec;35(12):1181-90. doi: 10.1016/s0278-6915(97)00105-1.


The carcinogenicity of medium-viscosity liquid paraffin was examined in Fischer 344 rats. Groups of 50 males and 50 females were given the material at dietary doses of 0 (control), 2.5 or 5% for 104 wk. Slight increases in food consumption and body weight were observed in both sexes of the 5% group. However, no significant differences between the control and treated groups were noted with regard to clinical signs, mortality and haematology findings. A variety of tumours developed in all groups, including the control group, but all the neoplastic lesions were histologically similar to those known to occur spontaneously in F344 rats, and no statistically significant increase in the incidence of any tumour type was found for either sex in the treated groups. Granulomatous inflammation in the mesenteric lymph nodes, considered to be a reaction to paraffin absorption, was observed with similar incidence and severity in both sexes of the 2.5 and 5% groups. Thus, it is concluded that under the present experimental conditions, the high dose, about 2000-200,000 times higher than the current temporary acceptable daily intake, does not have any carcinogenic potential in F344 rats. Furthermore, granulomatous inflammation observed in mesenteric lymph nodes were not associated with any development of neoplastic lesions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Carcinogens
  • Diet
  • Eating / drug effects
  • Emollients / toxicity*
  • Female
  • Lymph Nodes / drug effects
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Male
  • Mesentery / pathology
  • Mineral Oil / toxicity*
  • Neoplasms, Experimental
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344
  • Survival Analysis
  • Viscosity


  • Carcinogens
  • Emollients
  • Mineral Oil