The mode of action (MOA) research program for cumene is designed to test the hypothesis that cumene cancer induction observed in the target organs identified in the NTP chronic bioassays – liver and lung of mice, and the kidney of male rats – operates in similar fashion to that observed for the structurally related compounds ethylbenzene and styrene. Each of these compounds appears to involve a nongenotoxic MOA for cancer induction. For the liver, the hypothesized MOA involves a nuclear receptor-mediated response, namely, CAR/PXR. For lung tumors observed in mice, cumene is hypothesized to operate through club cell CYP2F2-mediated metabolism. And for the kidney, sex-specific cumene-induced kidney tumors in male rats are hypothesized to operate through the accumulation of the sex-specific protein α2u-globulin in male rats, a MOA considered not to be relevant for assessing human health risk for this endpoint.
- Cumene, also known as isopropylbenzene, 2-phenylpropane or (1-methylethyl) benzene, is widely used as a chemical intermediate in the production of phenol and acetone.
- Cumene is also used as a thinner for paints, lacquers, and enamels and it is a natural component of coal tar and petroleum.
- U.S. production of cumene, including imports, is about 7 billion pounds annually. This data is collected by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through the TSCA Chemical Data Rule (CDR) Form U Report and is updated every four years.
Cumene Industry Group Members
The Cumene Panel is comprised of the leading manufacturers and major consumers of cumene in the United States.