What is Phenanthrene?

Phenanthrene is a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAHs) composed of three fused benzene rings which takes its name from the two terms ‘phenyl’ and ‘anthracene. ‘ It has a role as an environmental contaminant and a mouse metabolite.


Most of the PAHs are used to conduct research. Like most PAHs, phenanthrene is used to make dyes, plastics and pesticides, explosives and drugs. It has also been used to make bile acids, cholesterol and steroids.

Sources & Potential Exposure

You can be exposed to most 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 actually 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.Other effects include damage to skin, body fluids and the immune system which help the body fight disease. However, these effects have not been seen in humans.

Federal Regulations

The EPA has indicated that not enough information exists to classify phenanthrene as a cancer causing substance.

REGENESIS Treatment Products – Phenanthrene