Chemistry and Chemical Biology ETDs

Publication Date



Interest in carcinogenic compounds began to develop when a form of cancer was found occurring in chimney sweeps in 1775. Skin cancer was found among workers in tar industries in 1875, and in 1887 workers in cotton spinning industries were known to have cancer which was attributed to contact with lubricating oils. Girls who painted the luminous dials of watches contracted cancer from exposure to the radioactive paint, and men who worked with B-naphthylamine developed bladder cancer. Many other cases of occupational cancer were reported before a systematic study of carcinogenic substances was begun. Early attempts to produce cancer in rats and dogs by painting the skin with various chemicals failed, but in 1915 cancer was produced by application of coal tar to the ears of rabbits.

Project Sponsors

National Cancer Institute of the United States Public Health Service



Document Type


Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology

First Committee Member (Chair)

Guido Herman Daub

Second Committee Member

Jesse LeRoy Riebsomer

Third Committee Member

Raymond N. Castle

Fourth Committee Member

John Francis Suttle