Specific Substances: 4-Methylimidazole
Nomination Date: 05/14/1991
Rationale: Widespread use in food products; potential for widespread exposure. Lack of chronic toxicity data and suspicion of carcinogenicity. 4-methylimidazole is the starting material for the synthesis of cimetidine, a histamine antagonist used in ulcer therapy. In addition to occupational exposure, human exposure may result from exposure to tobacco smoke and processed foods. It has been found in molasses, caramel colored syrups, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and wine.