There is inadequate evidence in both humans and experimental animals on the carcinogenic potential of petroleum solvents (including white spirit). Consequently, white spirit has been classified by the IARC in Group 3, i.e., not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity in humans (IARC, 1989).

White spirit is not generally considered to be carcinogenic. However, epidemiological studies have suggested that respiratory tract, kidney and bladder cancers may be related to chronic white spirit exposure (Rothman and Emmett, 1988). Siemiatycki et al. (1987) investigated the possible association between exposure to petroleum derived liquids and cancer. They concluded that exposure to mineral spirits was significantly associated with squamous cell lung cancer, particularly among workers with long exposure to high concentrations. In addition, both prostate cancer and Hodgkin's lymphoma showed signs of association with exposure to mineral spirits.

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