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AHPA and areca nut

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

California has determined that areca nut (the seed of Areca catechu) and betel quid without tobacco meet the statutory criteria for listing as known to cause cancer, the state's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment states in Jan. 26 correspondence with AHPA. OEHHA's letter to the American Herbal Products Association responds to comments submitted by the group Nov. 21, when AHPA charged that California did not have the "legal basis" to identify areca nut and betel quid as cancer-causing (1"The Tan Sheet" Dec. 5, 2005, In Brief). The substances were added to the Prop 65 list Feb. 3. OEHHA disagrees with the majority of AHPA's arguments, stating that the state does have the authority, as guaranteed by the Labor Code, to list these substances. However, the Office does agree with AHPA's call to clarify that the listing will apply specifically to areca nut, and no other element of the plant such as the husk...

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Areca nut

California does not have the legal basis to list areca nut (the seed of Areca catechu) and betel quid as chemicals known to cause cancer, according to comments filed by the American Herbal Products Association Nov. 21. According to AHPA President Michael McGuffin, the state's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) is using a "labor code shortcut instead of calling a public meeting" where public comment could, and should, be obtained. In addition, AHPA requests that any listing by the state apply only to areca seed (not husk) intended for prolonged chewing. Swallowing the seed in a dietary supplement has no known health consequences, according to AHPA. The International Agency for Research on Cancer recently released findings linking negative health consequences with chewing areca nut and betel quid...

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