Medical Definition of Isoprene

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Reviewed on 12/11/2018

Isoprene: One of the major components that makes up natural rubber and is used to make synthetic rubbers. It is also emitted from plants and trees, has been detected in tobacco smoke and automobile exhaust.

Isoprene is a possible carcinogen (cancer-causing agent). The US government in 2000 classified it as "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen." In laboratory animal studies of isoprene, cancer was observed in multiple organ sites following long-term inhalation exposures.

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018