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Journal Article 
Monitoring of environmental exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons: A review 
Srogi, K 
Environmental Chemistry Letters
ISSN: 1610-3653
EISSN: 1610-3661 
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a
large group of organic compounds with two or more fused
aromatic rings. They have a relatively low solubility in
water, but are highly lipophilic. Most of the PAHs with low
vapour pressure in the air are adsorbed on particles. When
dissolved in water or adsorbed on particulate matter, PAHs
can undergo photodecomposition when exposed to ultraviolet
light from solar radiation. In the atmosphere, PAHs
can react with pollutants such as ozone, nitrogen oxides
and sulfur dioxide, yielding diones, nitro- and dinitro-
PAHs, and sulfonic acids, respectively. PAHs may also be
degraded by some microorganisms in the soil. PAHs are
widespread environmental contaminants resulting from
incomplete combustion of organic materials. The occurrence
is largely a result of anthropogenic emissions such as
fossil fuel-burning, motor vehicle, waste incinerator, oil
refining, coke and asphalt production, and aluminum
production, etc. PAHs have received increased attention
in recent years in air pollution studies because some of
these compounds are highly carcinogenic or mutagenic.
Eight PAHs (Car-PAHs) typically considered as possible
carcinogens are: benzo(a)anthracene, chrysene, benzo(b)
fluoranthene, benzo(k)fluoranthene, benzo(a)pyrene (B(a)P),
dibenzo(a,h)anthracene, indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene and benzo
(g,h,i)perylene. In particular, benzo(a)pyrene has been
identified as being highly carcinogenic. The US Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) has promulgated 16
unsubstituted PAHs (EPA-PAH) as priority pollutants.
Thus, exposure assessments of PAHs in the developing
world are important. The scope of this review will be to
give an overview of PAH concentrations in various environmental
samples and to discuss the advantages and
limitations of applying these parameters in the assessment
of environmental risks in ecosystems and human health. As
it well known, there is an increasing trend to use the
behavior of pollutants (i.e. bioaccumulation) as well as
pollution-induced biological and biochemical effects on
human organisms to evaluate or predict the impact of
chemicals on ecosystems. Emphasis in this review will,
therefore, be placed on the use of bioaccumulation and
biomarker responses in air, soil, water and food, as monitoring
tools for the assessment of the risks and hazards of
PAH concentrations for the ecosystem, as well as on its
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; Plant; Soil; Sediment; Water; Food; Air; PAH biomonitoring; Seasonal trend; PM2.5; PM2.5–10 ; Pollution control 
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