In August, EPA released a draft toxicological review of benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) for public comment. BaP, a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH), is found in the environment as a result of the incomplete burning of carbon-containing materials and is released into the atmosphere as a component of smoke from forest fires, industrial processes, cigarettes, and so on. The draft human health assessment is a reassessment of a 1987 Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) assessment and includes an oral reference dose, inhalation reference concentration, oral slope factor, inhalation risk unit, and dermal slope factor. According to EPA, this is the first IRIS assessment to propose a dermal slope factor.
EPA notes several ways that people can be exposed to BaP, including breathing particles that contain carbon to which PAHs have adhered and eating foods grown in areas with BaP-contaminated air or soil. People can also be exposed to BaP through the skin.
Comments are due to EPA by Oct. 21, 2013. For more information on the draft assessment, visit EPA’s website. View the Federal Register notice to learn more about the comment process.
EPA’s IRIS database contains more than 550 chemical substances along with information regarding their impact on human health. Learn more about IRIS.