Evaluation of the carcinogenicity of gallium arsenide

Ernst M. Bomhard, Heinz Peter Gelbke, Hermann Schenk, Gary M. Williams, Samuel Monroe Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Gallium arsenide (GaAs) is an important semiconductor material. In 2-year inhalation studies, GaAs increased the incidence of lung tumors in female rats, but not in male rats or male and female mice. Alveolar proteinosis followed by chronic active inflammation was the predominant non-neoplastic pulmonary findings. IARC classified GaAs as carcinogenic to humans (group 1) based on the assumption that As and Ga ions are bioavailable. The European Chemical Agency Risk Assessment Committee concluded that GaAs should be classified into Carcinogenicity Category 1B (presumed to have carcinogenic potential for humans; ECHA). We evaluate whether these classifications are justified. Physico-chemical properties of GaAs particles and the degree of mechanical treatment are critical in this evaluation. The available data on mode of action (MOA), genotoxicity and bioavailability do not support the contribution of As or Ga ions to the lung tumors in female rats. Most toxicological studies utilized small particles produced by strong mechanical treatment, destroying the crystalline structure. The resulting amorphous GaAs is not relevant to crystalline GaAs at production and processing sites. The likely tumorigenic MOA is lung toxicity related to particulate-induced inflammation and increased proliferation. It is concluded that there is no evidence for a primary carcinogenic effect of GaAs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)436-466
Number of pages31
JournalCritical Reviews in Toxicology
Volume43
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

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Rats
Lung
Tumors
Ions
Crystalline materials
Inflammation
Semiconductors
gallium arsenide
Risk assessment
Toxicology
Chemical properties
Inhalation
Biological Availability
Toxicity
Neoplasms
Semiconductor materials
Incidence
Processing

Keywords

  • Alveolar proteinosis
  • Bioavailability
  • Chronic lung inflammation
  • Gallium arsenide
  • Semiconductor
  • Solubility
  • Threshold of arsenic carcinogenicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology

Cite this

Evaluation of the carcinogenicity of gallium arsenide. / Bomhard, Ernst M.; Gelbke, Heinz Peter; Schenk, Hermann; Williams, Gary M.; Cohen, Samuel Monroe.

In: Critical Reviews in Toxicology, Vol. 43, No. 5, 01.01.2013, p. 436-466.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Bomhard, Ernst M. ; Gelbke, Heinz Peter ; Schenk, Hermann ; Williams, Gary M. ; Cohen, Samuel Monroe. / Evaluation of the carcinogenicity of gallium arsenide. In: Critical Reviews in Toxicology. 2013 ; Vol. 43, No. 5. pp. 436-466.
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