Question: The recognition of chemicals as potential carcinogens had its inception with observations made by Sir Percival Pott in the 1770’s. What was this individual’s contribution to the science of chemical carcinogenesis?
Answer: According to the cited reference, “…Sir Percival Pott in 1775 described the frequent occurrence of cancer of the scrotum in chimney sweeps in England. He hypothesized that this was because of their significant exposure to soot. More importantly, he also proposed a mechanism to reduce the incidence of these cancers simply by requiring these individuals to bathe on a regular basis. This was instituted and the incidence of scrotal cancer was essentially eliminated.” (Cohen SM and Arnold LL. Chemical carcinogenesis. 2011 Tox Sci 120(S1): S76-S92)