Chromatographic and Spectral Analysis of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in the Air and Water Environments

  • Morris Katz
  • Takeo Sakuma
  • Helle Tosine
Part of the Environmental Science Research book series (ESRH, volume 16)


Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are widely distributed in the atmospheric and water environments. These compounds occur in diverse sources such as combustion products of fossil fuels, motor vehicle exhaust, fumes from coke ovens, incineration of refuse, liquid effluents from petroleum, petrochemical and many other industrial operations. Airborne particlate matter, which contains PAH, contributes to the pollution of water supplies by sedimentation, impaction and precipitation on land and water surfaces. The sources, reactivity, metabolism and carcinogenic properties of PAH have been reviewed in a monograph by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (1972). Some PAH compounds have been shown to be potent carcinogens in biological assays but isomers of a specific group may differ greatly in potency. Thus, benzo(a)pyrene is a strong carcinogen, whereas the isomeric benzo(e)pyrene is non-carcinogenic; benzo(b)fluoranthene is carcinogenic but benzo(k) fluoranthene is negative. Similarly, benz(a)anthracene is positively carcinogenic, whereas the isomeric chrysene has been reported as negative or only weakly carcinogenic.


Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Coke Oven Magnesium Hydroxide Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbon Glass Capillary Column 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Morris Katz
    • 1
  • Takeo Sakuma
    • 1
  • Helle Tosine
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Research on Environmental QualityYork UniversityDownsviewCanada

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