Determination of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the lung

  • Hiroshi Seto
  • Tomoko Ohkubo
  • Takako Kanoh
  • Morio Koike
  • Kyoji Nakamura
  • Yutaka Kawahara


Polycyclie aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) accumulated in human lung samples from men (n = 236) and women (n = 128) were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) to examine their association with lung cancer. The mean values for benzo[a]pyrene (BaP), benzo[k]fluoranthene (BkF), and benzo[g,h,i]perylene (BghiP) in lungs (ng/g dry lung) of Japanese autopsied patients were 0.54, 0.44, and 0.87, respectively. The modal values were 0.3, 0.3 and 0.5, respectively. Each of the PAH concentrations was highly correlated with the others (r > 0.83). PAH concentrations in the lungs showed age-related increases with low correlation-coefficient values. BaP, BkF and BghiP concentrations in lungs of various subgroups were in the following order: male > female; and lung cancer > all cancers > non-cancer among male not female group. Only BghiP concentration in the lungs of the male smoker group is significantly higher (P < 0.10) than that of the male non-smoker group. Even among non-smoker groups, PAH concentrations in the lungs of male group were significantly higher than those of female group. In the male population, excess exposure to PAHs together with fine carbon particles, such as tobacco smoke or diesel exhaust, correlated with increased prevalence of lung cancer.


Lung Cancer PAHs Diesel Smoke Pyrene 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hiroshi Seto
    • 1
  • Tomoko Ohkubo
    • 1
  • Takako Kanoh
    • 1
  • Morio Koike
    • 2
  • Kyoji Nakamura
    • 3
  • Yutaka Kawahara
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Environmental HealthThe Tokyo Metropolitan Research Laboratory of Public HealthTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of PathologyThe Tokyo Metropolitan Komagome HospitalTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Department of PathologyThe Tokyo Metroplitan Fuchu HospitalTokyoJapan
  4. 4.Department of PathologyThe Tokyo Metropolitan Hiro-o HospitalTokyoJapan

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