Carcinogen Identification Committee Lists Two New Carcinogens


 California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has added gentian violet (CAS No.548-62-9)and (N-nitroso-hexamethyleneimine (CAS No. 932-83-2) to the list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer for purposes of the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, more commonly known as Proposition 65. At a public meeting held in Sacramento on November 1, 2018, the Carcinogen Identification Committee (CIC) in its official capacity as the “state’s qualified experts” (SQE) determined that gentian violet and N-nitroso-hexamethyleneimine were clearly shown by scientifically valid testing according to generally accepted principles to cause cancer. Regulations for the listing of chemicals by the CIC are described in Title 27, California Code of Regulations, section 25305(a)(1).
Both chemicals were listed unanimously by each of the CIC committee members.
Both chemical listings took effect on November 23, 2018.  Proposition 65 enforcement concerning both chemicals will commence on November 23, 2019.
following a one year period after the listing date of the listed chemicals.
Crystal violet or gentian violet is a triarylmethane dye used as a histological stain and in Gram’s method of classifying bacteria. Crystal violet has antibacterial, antifungal, and anthelmintic properties and was formerly used as a topical antiseptic.
N-Nitrosohexamethyleneimine is a cyclic nitrosamine. It is used as an explosive in ejector seats in military jet fighter planes. Exposures to
N-nitrosohexamethyleneimine may occur as a result of the manufacture and use of the chemical. N-Nitrosohexamethyleneimine
can be formed in the body in the presence of nitrosating agents from chemicals containing the hexamethyleneimine moiety, such as the hypoglycemic drug




Toxicological Endpoints

Listing Mechanism*

Effective Date

Gentian violet (Crystal violet)




November 23, 2018





November 23, 2018

* Listing mechanism:  SQE – “State’s Qualified Expert” mechanism (Health and Safety Code section 25249.8(b) and Title 27, Cal. Code of Regs., section 25305(a)(1)).

Chemical Reference

Footnotes and References

[1] The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, Health and Safety Code section 25249.5 et seq.

About Jack Schatz

Jack Schatz began writing about Proposition 65 and other U.S. environmental laws in 1994. He has also written extensively about Consumer Product safety and product liability issues as well. He is the publisher and co-author of the 2013 and 2017 and upcoming 2020 editions of the Proposition 65 Handbook.He was graduated by the San Diego State School of Journalism.
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