<< Back to Chemical Sampling Information
Synonyms: Coal Tar Pitch Volatiles: Phenanthrene; Phenanthrin
OSHA IMIS Code Number: 2038
Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 85-01-8
NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: SF7900000
Chemical Description and Physical Properties:
colorless shining crystals with a faint aromatic odor
OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL):
molecular formula: C14H10
molecular weight: 178.23
boiling point: 340°C
vapor pressure: 1 mm Hg @ 118.2°C
melting point: 100°C
General Industry: 29 CFR 1910.1000 Z-1 Table -- See Coal Tar Pitch Volatiles
Construction Industry: 29 CFR 1926.55 Appendix A -- See Coal Tar Pitch Volatiles
Maritime: 29 CFR 1915.1000 Table Z-Shipyards -- See Coal Tar Pitch Volatiles
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) carcinogenic classification: Group D, not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to human
Potential Symptoms: Irritation of skin and respiratory tract; cough, sore throat; dermatitis (itching, rash, blisters, burns) with UV light exposure (photosensitization); eye redness, pain; INGES. ACUTE: Abdominal pain.
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) carcinogenic classification: Group 3, not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans [153 KB PDF, 171 pages]
Health Effects: Irritation-Eyes, Nose, Throat, Skin---Mild (HE16)
Affected Organs: Skin; multiple tumor sites in animals (e.g., mammary, stomach, lung, skin).
Date Last Revised: 10/04/2006
- Phenanthrene usually occurs as part of a mixture of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in coal tar pitch volatiles and diesel exhaust.
- End-of-shift urinary levels of unchanged phenanthrene were found to be higher in road pavers (exposed to hot asphalt) than general road construction employees (exposed to diesel exhaust).
- Comparison of urinary levels of a tetra- hydroxylated metabolite indicated mean concentrations (in pmol/mg creatinine) of 1.51 in non-smokers, 4.58 in smokers, 25.7 in coke oven workers, and 791 in psoriasis patients receiving coal tar therapy.
- More commonly, other hydroxylated metabolites of phenanthrene in urine are used as markers to monitor occupational exposure to PAHs.
Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method:
- U.S. EPA Integrated Risk Information System. Phenanthrene (CASRN 85-01-8).
- Campo, L., et al. Biological monitoring of exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons by determination of unmetabolized compounds in urine. Toxicol. Lett. 162(2-3): 132-138, 2006.
- Elovaara, E., Mikkola, J., Makela, M., Paldanious, B. and Priha, E. Assessment of soil remediation workers' exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH): biomonitoring of naphthols, phenanthrols, and 1-hydroxypyrene in urine. Toxicol. Lett. 162(2-3): 158-163, 2006.
- Hecht, S.S., Chen, M., Yagi, H., Jerina, D.M. and Carmella, S.G. r-1,t-2,3,c-4-Tetrahydroxy-1,2,3,4-tetrahydrophenanthrene in human urine: a potential biomarker for assessing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon metabolic activation. Cancer Epidemiol. Biomarkers Prev. 12(12): 1501-1508, 2003.
- Jacob, J. and Seidel, A. Biomonitoring of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in human urine. J. Chromatogr. B. Analyt. Technol. Biomed. Life Sci. 778(1-2): 31-47, 2002.
- Pohanish, R.P. (editor) Phenanthrene. In, Sittig's Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens, Fourth Ed., Vol. 2. Norwich, NY: Noyes Publications, William Andrew Publishing, 2002, pp. 1817-1818.
- Popp, W., et al. DNA single strand breakage, DNA adducts, and sister chromatid exchange in lymphocytes and phenanthrene and pyrene metabolites in urine of coke oven workers. Occup. Environ. Med. 54(3): 176-183, 1997.
- Rihs, H.P., et al. Occupational exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in German industries: association between exogenous exposure and urinary metabolites and its modulation by enzyme polymorphisms. Toxicol. Lett. 157(3): 241-255, 2005.
** All Trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
sampling media: Glass Fiber Filter (37 mm)
analytical solvent: Benzene
maximum volume: 960 Liters
maximum flow rate: 2.0 L/min
current analytical method: High Performance Liquid Chromatography; HPLC/UV/FLU
method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA 58)
method classification: Fully Validated (In conjuction with Coal Tar Pitch Volatiles and Coke Oven Emissions)
note: After sampling, filter must be transferred to a glass vial with a Teflon-lined cap. Sample must be protected from direct sunlight.
Page last updated: 09/24/2007
Accessibility Assistance: Contact the OSHA Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management at (202) 693-2300 for assistance accessing PDF materials.