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General Description

  • Synonyms: BaP; 1,2-Benzpyrene; 3,4-BP; 3,4-Benzo(a)pyrene; 4,5-Benzpyrene; 6,7-Benzopyrene; Benzo(d,e,f)chrysene; B(a)P; BaP
  • OSHA IMIS Code Number: 0726 [IMIS Name History: Benzo (alpha) Pyrene prior to 3/9/2007]
  • Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 50-32-8
  • NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: DJ3675000
  • International Chemical Safety Cards, Benzo(a)pyrene: Acute hazards, symptoms, physical and chemical dangers, physical properties, and more

Exposure Limits and Health Effects

Exposure Limit Limit Values HE Codes Health Factors and Target Organs
OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) - General Industry
See 29 CFR 1910.1000 Table Z-1
See Coal Tar Pitch Volatiles
OSHA PEL - Construction Industry
See 29 CFR 1926.55 Appendix A
See Coal Tar Pitch Volatiles
OSHA PEL - Shipyard Employment
See 29 CFR 1915.1000 Table Z - Shipyards
See Coal Tar Pitch Volatiles
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL) Not established    
American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV) (2001) No numerical limit. Exposure by all routes should be controlled to levels as low as possible. A2; BEI HE2 Cancer
CAL/OSHA PEL Not established    
  • National Toxicology Program (NTP) carcinogenic classification: Reasonably anticipated to be human carcinogen (PDF) (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons: 15 listings)
  • International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) carcinogenic classification: Group 1 (PDF) (carcinogenic to humans)
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) carcinogenic classification: Probable human carcinogen - based on sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in animals
  • EPA Inhalation Reference Concentration (RfC): Not established
  • Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) Inhalation Minimal Risk Level (MRL): Not established
  • NIOSH Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (IDLH) concentration: Not listed
  • Notes on Other Potential Health Effects and Hazards
  1. Occupational exposure to benzo(a)pyrene may increase the risk of pancreatic, stomach, and laryngeal cancer (IARC 2005; Spinelli et al. 2006; Gibbs and Sevigny 2007; Friesen et al. 2007; Li et al. 2007)
  2. Occupational exposure to benzo(a)pyrene may increase the risk of ischemic heart disease (Burstyn et al. 2005)
  3. Occupational exposure to benzo(a)pyrene may reduce neurobehavioral function (Niu et al. 2010).
  • Date Last Revised:9/6/2012
  • Literature Basis
  • ACGIH: Documentation of the Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs) - Benzo[a]pyrene. 2001.
  • Burstyn I, Kromhout H, Partanen T, Svane O, Langård S, Ahrens W, Kauppinen T, Stücker I, Shaham J, Heederik D, Ferro G, Heikkilä P, Hooiveld M, Johansen C, Randem BG, Boffetta P.: Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and fatal ischemic heart disease. Epidemiology 16(6):744-50, November 2005.
  • IARC: Monographs on the Evaluation of the Carcinogenic Risk of Chemicals to Humans. Some Non-heterocyclic Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Some Related Industrial Exposures (PDF), v 92. 2005.
  • Friesen MC, Demers PA, Spinelli JJ, Lorenzi MF, Le ND: Comparison of two indices of exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in a retrospective aluminium smelter cohort. Occup Environ Med. 64(4):273-8, April 2007.
  • Gibbs GW and Sevigny M: Mortality and cancer experience of Quebec aluminum reduction plant workers, part 4: cancer incidence. J Occup Environ Med. 49(12):1351-66, December 2007.
  • Li D, Day RS, Bondy ML, Sinha R, Nguyen NT, Evans DB, Abbruzzese JL, Hassan MM: Dietary mutagen exposure and risk of pancreatic cancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 16(4):655-61, April 2007.
  • NIOSH/IPCS: International Chemical Safety Cards: Benzo(a)pyrene. October 17, 2005.
  • Niu Q, Zhang H, Li X, Li M. Benzo[a]pyrene-induced neurobehavioral function and neurotransmitter alterations in coke oven workers. Occup Environ Med. 67(7):444-8, July 2010.
  • Spinelli JJ, Demers PA, Le ND, Friesen MD, Lorenzi MF, Fang R, Gallagher RP. Cancer risk in aluminum reduction plant workers (Canada). Cancer Causes Control. 17(7):939-48, September 2006.

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method:
  • Pre-cleaned 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 conjunction with Coal Tar Pitch Volatiles and Coke Oven Emissions.)
  • note: OSHA personnel can obtain pre-cleaned filters, vials, and Teflon-lined caps from SLTC. After sampling, filter must be transferred to a vial with a Teflon-lined cap. Sample must be protected from direct sunlight.
  • note: Benzo[a]pyrene is a polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon that OSHA has identified as one of a number of typical components of the benzene-soluble fraction of coal tar pitch volatiles. Other components include anthracene, phenanthrene, acridine, and pyrene. There is no specific OSHA PEL for Benzo[a]pyrene. Benzo[a]pyrene is characteristic of cold tar pitch volatiles (PEL is 0.2 mg/m3) and/or coke oven emissions (PEL is 0.15 mg/m3).
Bulk Method:
  • Limit the amount of bulk submitted to one gram or one mL

Section Last Revised: 03/26/2012

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