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Aromatics Hydrocarbons (PAHs) Crash Course Chemistry 2022

Aromatics Hydrocarbons (PAHs) Crash Course Chemistry 2022

Aromatics Hydrocarbons (PAHs) Crash Course Chemistry 2022

Aromatic compounds are those chemical compounds that contain one or more rings with pi electrons delocalized all the way around them. In contrast to compounds that exhibit aromaticity, aliphatic compounds lack this delocalization.

Aromatics refer to vegetables and herbs that add flavor and aroma to a dish. When cooked together, these ingredients help create layers of flavor in your food. … Fennel, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, scallions, spicy chili peppers or bell peppers, bay leaves, thyme, parsley and peppercorns are all aromatic ingredients.

  • What are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons?
  • What happens to PAHs when they enter the environment?
  • How can I be exposed to PAHs?
  • How can PAHs affect my health?
  • How likely are PAHs to cause cancer?
  • Is there a medical test showing that I have been told to PAHs?
  • What recommendations has the federal government made to protect public health?
  • Definitions
  • References

This fact sheet answers the most frequently asked health questions about polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. For more information, please call the ATSDR Information Center at 1-800-232-4636. This fact sheet is one in a series of summaries about hazardous substances and their health effects. You must understand this information as this substance can be harmful. The results of exposure to any toxic substance depend on the dose, duration, how you are exposed, your habits and personal characteristics, and the presence of other chemicals.

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Important

Exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) usually occurs by breathing air contaminated by wildfires or coal tar or eating grilled foods. PAHs have been found in at least 600 of the 1,430 National Priorities List sites identified by the US Environmental Protection Agency. external icon (EPA).

Aromatics Hydrocarbons (PAHs) Crash Course Chemistry 2022

What are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons?

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a group of more than 100 different chemicals formed during the incomplete combustion of coal, oil and gasoline, garbage, and other organic substances such as tobacco and grilled meat. PAHs are generally found as a mixture of two or more compounds, such as soot.

Some of the PAHs are manufactured. These pure PAHs are generally colorless, white, or pale yellow-green solids. PAHs are found in tar, crude oil, creosote, and roofing tar, although a few are used in medicines or to make dyes and pesticides.

What happens to PAHs when they enter the environment?

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  • PAHs get into the air primarily from volcanic emissions, forest fires, coal combustion, and automobile exhaust.
  • PAHs can be found in the air attached to dust particles.
  • Certain PAH particles can quickly evaporate from soil or surface water into the air.
  • PAHs can break down over days to weeks by reacting with sunlight or other chemicals in the air.
  • PAHs enter the water through waste from industrial plants and sewage treatment plants.
  • Most PAHs do not dissolve easily in water.
  • Microorganisms can degrade PAHs in soil or water over weeks to months.
  • In soil, PAHs are likely to adhere firmly to particles; certain PAHs move through the mud and contaminate groundwater.
  • The amount of PAHs in plants and animals can be much higher than the amount in the soil or water where these organisms live.

How can I be exposed to PAHs?

  • You are breathing polluted air if you work in plants that produce coke, tar, and asphalt; plants where products are smoked; and facilities that burn municipal waste.
  • You are breathing air with PAHs from cigarette smoke, wood smoke, car exhaust emissions, asphalt roads, or smoke from the combustion of agricultural products.
  • Through contact with air, water, or soil near hazardous waste sites
  • Eating meats prepared on the grill or burned; eating contaminated cereals, flour, bread, vegetables, fruits, or roots; or eating processed or pickled foods.
  • We were drinking contaminated cow’s milk or water.
  • Nursing mothers who live near hazardous waste sites can pass PAHs to their infants through breast milk.
Aromatics Hydrocarbons (PAHs) Crash Course Chemistry 2022
Aromatics Hydrocarbons (PAHs) Crash Course Chemistry 2022

How can PAHs affect my health?

Mice that ate high levels of a PAH during pregnancy had problems reproducing, and the pups suffered the same issues. These pups also had high rates of congenital disabilities and low birth weight. It is not known whether these effects can occur in humans.

Animal studies have also shown that PAHs can produce harmful effects on the skin, body fluids, and the ability to fight infection after either short-term or long-term exposures.

How likely are PAHs to cause cancer?

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has determined that it is reasonable to predict that some PAHs are carcinogenic.

Certain people who have breathed or touched mixtures of PAHs and other chemicals for a long time have gotten cancer. Certain PAHs have caused cancer in laboratory animals that lived air containing PAHs (lung cancer), ate food containing PAHs (stomach cancer), or had PAHs applied to their skin (skin cancer).

Is there a medical test showing that I have been exposed to PAHs?

In the body, PAHs are transformed into chemical compounds that can bind to substances. Special tests can detect PAHs attached to these substances in body tissues or the blood.

However, these tests cannot tell if you will be harmed or how much you were exposed to, or the source of your exposure. These tests are usually not available at your doctor’s office because they require special equipment to perform.

Aromatics Hydrocarbons (PAHs) Crash Course Chemistry 2022

What recommendations has the federal government made to protect public health?

The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set a limit of 0.2 milligrams of PAHs per cubic meter of air (0.2 mg/m³). OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for mineral oil mist containing HAPs is 5 mg/m³ averaged over an 8 hour exposure period.

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The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends that the average level for tar products in workplace air not exceed 0.1 mg/m³ during a 10-hour workday in a 40-hour week. Other occupational exposure limits exist for products containing PAHs, such as coal, tar, and mineral oil.

What are aromatics used for?

Aromatic hydrocarbons are non-polar and relatively non-reactive due to these resonance structures and make excellent solvents. They are used in manufacturing fuels, pesticides, lacquers, paints, detergents, and more. One important example of an aromatic hydrocarbon is benzene, a six-carbon ring structure.

What are some examples of aromatics?

Typical examples of aromatic compounds are benzene, naphthalene, and anthracene.

Aromatics Hydrocarbons (PAHs) Crash Course Chemistry 2022
Aromatics Hydrocarbons (PAHs) Crash Course Chemistry 2022

Why are aromatics called aromatics?

Aromatic compounds, originally named because of their fragrant properties, are unsaturated hydrocarbon ring structures that exhibit special properties, including unusual stability, due to their aromaticity. They are often represented as resonance structures containing single and double bonds.

What are aromatic products?

Aromatics are any hydrocarbons that contain a benzene ring (six-carbon, unsaturated ring). In a refinery, aromatics products mostly come from the BTX plant, where they are extracted from the reformate produced in the reformer. Consequently, aromatics are generally considered a speciality product.

  • aromatics in food
  • aromatics perfume
  • aromatics fuel
  • aromatics spices
  • aromatics formula
  • aromatics chemicals
  • aromatics oil

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Aromatics Hydrocarbons (PAHs) Crash Course Chemistry 2022

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