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Benzo (g,h,i) perylene

CAS No- 191-24-2, 1,12-benzperylene; 1,12-benzoperylene

SPRI Emission Reporting Threshold
1.00 Kg/yr Pollutant Emissions to Air
0.1 Kg/yr Pollutant Emissions to Water
0.1 Kg/yr Pollutant Emissions to Waste Water
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This sheet is a generic summary, designed to give the reader a basic level of background information about the substance in question. Great care has been taken to represent as effectively and correctly as possible the broad range of (not necessarily consistent) information which is available from a variety of sources. The reader must accept therefore that this sheet has no legal status and cannot be relied upon in any legal proceedings. SEPA disclaims any responsibility or liability whatsoever for errors and omissions in this sheet.
What is it?
Pure benzo(g,h,i)perylene is usually found as pale yellow-green crystal plates. It does not dissolve in water, but will dissolve readily in organic (carbon-containing) solvents. Benzo(g,h,i)perylene is one of a group of compounds known as the Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds (PAHs).
What is it used for?
Only relatively small amounts of benzo(g,h,i)perylene are intentionally manufactured. It is extracted from coal tar to be used in dyes. It is also found (as part of a complex mixture of PAHs) in creosote, tar paints, waterproof membranes and other products.
Where does it come from?
The vast majority of benzo(g,h,i)perylene is released to the environment when combustion is incomplete (usually because there is insufficient oxygen). Thus, most benzo(g,h,i)perylene is released from vehicle exhausts and domestic wood and coal fires. Emmisions also arise from industrial effluents, municipal waste water treatment facilities, waste incinerators and aluminium smelting. Trace amounts are found in cigarette smoke. Benzo(g,h,i)perylene is also released naturally from volcanoes and forest fires, but the amounts are very small compared to those released from man-made combustion sources.
How might it affect the environment?
The most serious environmental impact of benzo(g,h,i)perylene is its significant accumulation in organisms exposed to it. It is also toxic and a suspected carcinogen. In water, benzo(g,h,i)perylene attaches strongly to sediments and any other solid matter. Benzo(g,h,i)perylene released to soils tends to bind very strongly to the soils particles, so no major leaching to groundwater or volatilisation to air is likely. Benzo(g,h,i)perylene is very stable and can remain in the environment for a long period of time - it is a Persistent Organic Pollutant (POP).
How might exposure to it affect human health?
Benzo(g,h,i)perylene can enter the body either by inhalation of air containing benzo(g,h,i)perylene, ingestion of water, soil or food containing benzo(g,h,i)perylene, or by dermal contact. There is little evidence available as to the full effects on human health following exposure to benzo(g,h,i)perylene. In 1987, the International Agency for Research on Cancer designated benzo(g,h,i)perylene as not classifiable as to human carcinogenicity (Group 3). Exposure to benzo(g,h,i)perylene at normal background levels is unlikely to have any adverse effect on human health.
What steps are being taken to limit the potential impacts?
In the natural environment benzo(g,h,i)perylene occurs as part of a mixture of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). Benzo(g,h,i)perylene has been identified as a "priority hazardous substance" under the Water Framework Directive and is listed as one of the four PAHs which have a prescribed maximum concentration in drinking water. It is regulated by the EU Directive on Dangerous Waste and releases to air, water and soil are controlled through the UK Pollution, Prevention and Control (PPC) Regulations. As a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH), levels of benzo(g,h,i)perylene in air are also controlled through the UK National Air Quality Strategy. Commission Regulation (EC) No 466/2008 now places further controls on PAH manufacturers/distributers. Under the OSPAR Convention which protects the marine environment of the north-east Atlantic Ocean, Benzo(g,h,i)perylene is listed as a substance for priority action.