MTBE escapes carcinogen list

The Oxygenated Fuels Association, Arlington, Va., said Thursday that the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) has omitted methyl tertiary butyl ether from its list of known carcinogens.

US legislators are expected to push bills this summer to phase out MTBE use in reformulated gasoline because the substance has been detected in drinking water supplies.

Congress had mandated that NIEHS issue a list of cancer-causing substances.

OFA said, �The NIEHS report is the latest in a series of studies by cancer experts that declines to list MTBE as a cancer-causing agency. The International Agency for Research on Cancer, the California Office of Environmental health Hazard Assessment�s Proposition 65 Committee, and the US National Toxicology Panel�s board of scientific counselors all have declined to call MTBE a carcinogen, or to state that MTBE is likely to cause cancer.�

John Kneiss, OFA�s director of product stewardship, said, �Hopefully, this latest report will finally put an end to the continuous misrepresentations that MTBE�s detractors have been circulating. Contrary to what you read in the newspaper, MTBE does not cause cancer.�

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