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General Description

Synonyms: 1,2-Benzophenanthrene; Benzo(a)phenanthrene; 1,2,5,6-Dibenzonaphthalene; 1,2-Benzphenanthrene; Benz(a)phenanthrene

OSHA IMIS code: 0692

CAS number: 218-01-9

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method:
  • pre-cleaned glass fiber filter (37 mm)
  • maximum volume: 960 L 
  • maximum flow rate: 2.0 L/min
  • current analytical method: high performance liquid chromatography; HPLC/UV/FLU
  • analytical solvent: Benzene
  • method reference: OSHA 58 (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 the OSHA-Salt Lake Technical Center. After sampling, filter must be transferred to a vial with a Teflon-lined cap. Sample must be protected from direct sunlight.
  • note: Chrysene 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, benzo[a]pyrene, phenanthrene, acridine, and pyrene. There is no specific OSHA PEL for chrysene. Chrysene 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 1 g or 1 mL

Exposure Limits and Health Effects (Updated September 6, 2012)

Standard Set By Exposure Limit Health Effect Codes -- Health Effects and Target Organs

OSHA 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  
NIOSH REL See Coal Tar Pitch Volatiles  
ACGIH TLV® (1990) Exposure by all routes should be carefully controlled to levels as low as possible.
See also Coal Tar Pitch Volatiles
CAL/OSHA PELs Not established  

Carcinogenic classification:

EPA Inhalation Reference Concentration (RfC): Not established

ATSDR Inhalation Minimal Risk Levels (MRLs): Not established

NIOSH IDLH concentration: Not established

Notes on other potential health effects and hazards:

  1. EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System classifies chrysene as a probable human carcinogen based on data from animal bioassays, as human data are not available (EPA 1994).
  2. In human prostate cancer cells, chrysene [and benzo(a)pyrene] partially inhibited the dihydrotestosterone-induced production of prostate-specific antigen protein and its mRNA, indicating an anti-androgenic effect from interaction with AhR (Kizu et al. 2003).
  3. Administered via intraperitoneal injection, chrysene caused liver and lung tumors and malignant lymphoma in mice. Dermal exposure caused skin carcinomas in mice (EPA 1994).
  4. A dose-dependent lung tumor incidence was found for chrysene injected into the lungs of rats (Wenzel-Hartung et al. 1990).
  5. In one study, the lymphocyte assays of smokers with head and neck cancers had a higher prevalence of chrysene (among other polyaromatic hydrocarbons) than nonsmokers with similar cancers. The effect of chrysene alone is not known (ACGIH 2001).

Partial reference list:

  • ACGIH: Documentation of the Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs) - Chrysene. 2016.
  • EPA: Integrated Risk Information SystemChrysene (CASRN 218-01-9). March 1994.
  • Kizu, R., et al.: A role of aryl hydrocarbon receptor in the antiandrogenic effects of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in LNCaP human prostate carcinoma cells. Arch. Toxicol. 77(6): 335-343, 2003.
  • NIOSH/CEC/IPCS: International Chemical Safety Cards - Chrysene. October 2006.
  • Wenzel-Hartung, R., Brune, H., Grimmer, G., Germann, P., Timm, J. and Wosniok, W.: Evaluation of the carcinogenic potency of 4 environmental polycyclic aromatic compounds following intrapulmonary application in rats. Exp. Pathol. 40(4): 221-7, 1990.

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