Benzo[a]pyrene Found to be Carcinogenic in EPA’s Draft Toxicology Review
LA Testing provides testing services for benzo[a]pyrene and other polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).
Garden Grove, CA, September 4, 2013
Last month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a draft Toxicology Review of benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) under the auspices of the agency’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) program. According to the review, benzo[a]pyrene is carcinogenic to humans based on strong and consistent evidence in animals and humans.
Benzo[a]pyrene is a five-ring polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) that is released into the atmosphere as a component of smoke from forest fires, industrial processes, vehicle exhaust, cigarettes and through the burning of fuels such as wood, coal and petroleum products.
It is bioaccumulative and does not break down easily in the environment. The compound has also been found to be subject to long range air transport. People can come into contact with benzo[a]pyrene through several exposure routes.
According to the EPA’s TEACH Chemical Summary of Benzo[a]pyrene, “Studies have measured concentrations of BaP in media that children may encounter. One study of BaP concentrations in house dust, personal air, outdoor air, and food samples was performed in a study of children’s exposure to PAHs in Minnesota, and found BaP in 43-58% of different types of air samples, 19% of household dust samples, and 22% of food samples.”
Benzo[a]pyrene can be found in coal tar which is used in asphalt, pavement sealers and roofing. As materials that contain coal tar wear, dust contaminated with benzo[a]pyrene can be tracked into homes and buildings. Its presence has also become a growing concern for runoff that drains from areas that contain coal tars into the nation’s watersheds.
One company that has extensive experience in testing for BaP is LA Testing. “The EPA’s draft Toxicology Review supports other existing research on the potential for harm to humans and the environment from exposure to benzo[a]pyrene,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager of LA Testing’s Garden Grove facility. “LA Testing provides testing services for BaP and PAHs using NIOSH and OSHA methods to help prevent exposure to humans and the environment.”
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