Agent Name

Coal-tar distillation

Major Category

Other Uses


Exposures, PAH-Related


The destructive distillation of coal produces coal tar, a black, viscous liquid that is a complex mixture of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; the residue from the distillation is pitch; [Reference #1]


A Group 1 carcinogen: cancer of the skin; Two large surveillance programs (1911-1938 and 1946-1996) found an increased risk of skin cancer among coal-tar distillers. In the earlier study, more than 700 skin cancers were attributed to coal tar exposure, and crude mortality rates for scrotal skin cancer were very high. [Reference #1]

Reference Link

IARC 2012: Occupational Exposures during Coal-Tar Distillation

Exposure Assessment
Adverse Effects
IARC Carcinogen

Known Carcinogen

Links to Other NLM Databases
Toxicity Information


Related Information in HazMap

Occupational diseases associated with exposure to this agent: