What is Fluorene?
Fluorene is one of a group of chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, PAHs for short.Fluorene is a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon. It forms white crystals that exhibit a characteristic, aromatic odor similar to that of naphthalene. It is combustible. It has a violet fluorescence, hence its name.
Like most PAHs, fluorene is used to make dyes, plastics and pesticides.
Sources & Potential Exposure
You can be exposed to PAHs in the environment, in your home and in the workplace. Because PAHs exist naturally in the environment, and they are man-made, you can be exposed in several ways. Fumes from vehicle exhaust, coal, coal tar, asphalt, wildfires, agricultural burning and hazardous waste sites are all sources of exposure. You could be exposed to PAHs by breathing cigarette and tobacco smoke, eating foods grown in contaminated soil or by eating meat or other food that you grilled. Grilling and charring food increases the amount of PAHs in the food. If you work in a plant that makes coal tar, asphalt and aluminum, or that burns trash, you can be exposed to PAHs. You can also be exposed if you work in a facility that uses petroleum or coal or where wood, corn and oil are burned.A number of PAHs have caused tumors in laboratory animals that were exposed to PAHs through their food, from breathing contaminated air and when it was applied to their skin.
The EPA has indicated that not enough information exists to classify fluorene as a cancer-causing substance.