The California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has asked the Carcinogen Identification Committee (CIC) to further evaluate “nitrite in combination with amines or amides” for possible inclusion on the state’s list of substances known to cause cancer under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Prop. 65).

According to OEHHA, “nitrite is a natural constituent of fresh produce, including spinach and celery, and of fresh uncured meats,” while “amines are organic compounds that contain a basic nitrogen atom with a lone electron pair” and “amides are organic compounds that can be formed from amines, and contain a nitrogen atom and an oxygen atom.”

After announcing a February 7, 2014, proposal to list the chemical combination under Prop. 65, the agency received comments and scientific evidence supporting the measure but ultimately concluded that regulatory criteria “have not been met for the spectrum of chemicals covered by the broad class ‘nitrite in combination with amines or amides.’” As a result, CIC will consider at a future meeting “whether nitrite in combination with amines or amides, or a subset of chemicals of this class, have been clearly shown through scientifically valid testing according to generally accepted principles to cause cancer.” See OEHHA News, May 6, 2015.