Dimethylvinyl chloride is a clear colorless liquid, which, because of its volatility and flammability at room temperature, is a significant fire hazard. It has a boiling point of 68.1 degrees C (155 degrees F) and a density at 20 degrees C of 0.919 g/ml. Dimethylvinyl chloride is a byproduct in the production of 3-chloro-2-methylpropene by the chlorination of isobutene. It is not known to be produced in the United States for other than laboratory purposes. This chemical was nominated for toxicologic studies because of its reported presence in ambient air in the Baltimore area and was selected for toxicologic characterization because of its structural similarity to the known animal and human carcinogen, vinyl chloride monomer.
Toxicology and carcinogenesis studies of dimethylvinyl chloride (96%-98% pure), a structural analog of vinyl chloride monomer, a known human carcinogen, by administered dimethylvinyl chloride in corn oil by gavage to groups of 50 male and 50 female F344/N rats and B6C3F1 mice at doses of 0, 100, or 200 mg/kg body weight 5 days per week for 102 or 103 weeks. The selection of these doses was based on results of 13-week studies, which included depression of body weight at doses of 500 mg/kg or above in rats as well as histopathologic changes intestinal epithelium, bone marrow, hepatocytes, and the testes at doses of 250 mg/kg and above; doses in mice were selected on the basis of histopathologic changes in lymphopoietic cells, liver, pancreatic islets, ovary, testis, and spleen, with changes being most prominent at doses of 500 mg/kg and above.
In the 2-year studies, body weights of rats and mice given 100 mg/kg were comparable to those of the vehicle controls except for the last few weeks in mice when body weights were markedly lower than those for the vehicle controls. At 200 mg/kg, the mean body weights of rats and mice were progressively decreased relative to those of vehicle controls, with the significant departure from vehicle controls occurring somewhat earlier in males than in females. Survival of vehicle control rats and mice was comparable to historical values; however, survival of dosed male and female rats was significantly lower than that of vehicle controls, with the incidence of mortality being more severe at the high dose than at the low dose. There were no survivors in the high dose group of male rats after week 85 or in the high dose group of female rats after week 97. Survival was significantly lower among dosed male and female mice compared with vehicle controls. In the absence of toxicological findings that would explain the early deaths, it is assumed that the high incidence of tumors and chemical-related toxicity contributed to the decreased survival of dosed rats and mice.
In rats, the severity and incidence of nonneoplastic lesions were minimal; these lesions included necrosis of the duodenum and epithelial hyperplasia at the sites of tumor formation--the nasal cavity, esophagus, and forestomach. In mice, the severity of nonneoplastic lesions was also minimal; the lesions included necrosis of the liver, bone marrow granulocytic hyperplasia, and inflammation of the nasal cavity (small number, females only.)
Several types of neoplastic lesions occurred with significantly increased incidences in dosed animals as shown in the following table (see page 11 of Technical Report). Among rats, these lesions included malignant epithelial tumors of the nasal cavity and squamous cell tumors of the oral cavity, esophagus, and forestomach in males and females. The increased number of fibroadenomas of the mammary gland in female rats may have been related to dimethylvinyl chloride administration. The lack of a clear dose-response relationship for certain tumors in rats is considered to be related to the increased number of early deaths observed in the high dose groups.
Among dosed mice, there were significantly increased incidences of squamous cell carcinomas of the forestomach (both sexes), squamous cell papillomas of the forestomach (males), and squamous cell carcinomas of the preputial gland (males). The increased incidence of papillary adenomas of the harderian gland and alveolar/bronchiolar adenomas or carcinomas in female mice may have been related to administration of dimethylvinyl chloride.
Limited metabolism studies of 14C-labeled dimethylvinyl chloride were conducted in male F344/N rats and B6C3F1 mice. Single doses of 150 mg/kg were administered to rats for 1, 2, or 4 consecutive days. About 25% of the administered doses was exhaled as carbon dioxide; this amount was independent of the number of doses administered. Another 25%-35% of the administered dose was exhaled; 96% of this parent was material. Approximately 35% and 6% were excreted in the urine and feces, respectively. The elimination half-life of radioactive label was 3-4 days for the liver and kidney, the two organs containing the greatest amounts of the administered dose. In mice, a much smaller fraction of the dose was exhaled and a larger proportion was excreted in urine compared with rats.
Dimethylvinyl chloride was not mutagenic in four strains of Salmonella typhimurium with or without metabolic activation, but it was mutagenic in the mouse lymphoma L5178Y/TK+/- assay in the absence of metabolic activation. Sister-chromatid exchanges were induced in Chinese hamster ovary cells with and without metabolic activation, but there was no increase in chromosomal aberrations. When fed to Drosophila, dimethylvinyl chloride induced significant increases in the frequencies of both sex-linked recessive lethal mutations and reciprocal translocations.
Studies of the immunotoxicity of dimethylvinyl chloride were conducted in which female B6C3F1 mice received daily oral doses of 0, 50, 100, 200, or 400 mg dimethylvinyl chloride per kilogram body weight. Compound-related increases in susceptibility to bacterial infection and decreases in macrophage cytostasis were observed at all doses. At the highest dose, the decreased resistance to bacterial and viral challenge could be related to alterations in specific immune function. However, the increased mortality in rats and mice in the 2-year studies was not relatable to infectious processes.
An audit of the experimental data was conducted for these2-year toxicology and carcinogenesis studies on dimethylvinyl chloride. No data discrepancies were found that influenced the final interpretations.
Under the conditions of these 2-year gavage studies, there was clear evidence of carcinogenicity of dimethylvinyl chloride for both sexes of F344/N rats and B6C3F1 mice. This was based on increased incidences of neoplasms of the nasal cavity, oral cavity, esophagus, and forestomach of male and female F344/N rats. B6C3F1 mice showed increased incidences of squamous cell neoplasms of the forestomach in males and females and squamous cell carcinomas of the preputial gland in males.