What is Benzo(a)anthracene/Benzo(a)perylene

Benz[a]anthracene or benzo[a]anthracene is a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon with the chemical formula C₁₈H₁₂. Benz[a]anthracene is a carcinogenic constituent of tobacco smoke.


There is no commercial production of benzo(a)anthracene except for the purification of the compound for laboratory research purposes.

Sources & Potential Exposure

Benz(a)anthracene is primarily found in gasoline and diesel exhaust, tobacco and cigarette smoke, coal tar and coal tar pitch, coal combustion emissions, charcoal-broiled foods, amino acids, fatty acids and carbohydrate pyrolysis products, wood and soot smoke, and creosote, asphalt and mineral oils. This substance is used only for research purposes.Workers that process coal and petroleum products or where combustion processes are extensive may breathe in benzo(a)anthracene from the air or have direct skin contact. The general population may be exposed by breathing in tobacco smoke, exhaust or smoke from other sources such as charcoal grilling. The general population may also be exposed to benzo(a)anthracene when eating grilled and smoked meat and fish. Consumption of drinking water may also be a route of exposure. If benzo(a)anthracene is released to the environment, it will be in or on particles that eventually fall to the ground. Benz(a)anthracene will also be broken down in air by reaction with hydroxyl radicals and by sunlight. It will volatilize into air from soil and water surfaces. It is not expected to move through soil. It will be only slowly broken down by microorganisms and is expected to build up in some aquatic organisms.

Federal Regulation

B2 (Probable human carcinogen – based on sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in animals)

REGENESIS Treatment Products – Benzo(a)anthracene/Benzo(a)perylene