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PAH Poisoning 5

PAH Poisoning 5

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Published by David Lincoln
Current overview of PAH pollution and impact on chronic diseases from a geographic perspective.
Current overview of PAH pollution and impact on chronic diseases from a geographic perspective.

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Published by: David Lincoln on Nov 22, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Why Should You Care?
Polycyclic Aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) – PAHs are known to cause cancers, especially lung and breast cancer. The most commonforms of exposure are either inhaling smoke and fumes (cigarette and wood smoke, vehicle exhaust, coal-tar and asphalt fumes) or eating grilled meats and processed or pickled foods.PAHs are one of the most widespread organic pollutants. As a pollutant PAHs are of concern because they have been identified ascarcinogenic, mutagenic, and teratogenic (causing birth defects). PAHs are created as a byproduct of the burning of coal, oil, andfossil fuels. Often they are of concern in urban areas where there is a higher carbon footprint, and they forms smog and clouds of yellow smoke over some of our major cities.
Workers in industries or trades using or producing coal or coal products are at highest risk for PAH exposure. Those workers include, but are not limited to
aluminum workers,
asphalt workers,
carbon black workers,
chimney sweeps,
coal-gas workers,
coke oven workers,
fishermen (coal tar on nets),
graphite electrode workers,
mechanics (auto and diesel engine),
road (pavement) workers,
steel foundry workers,
tire and rubber manufacturing workers, andworkers exposed to creosote, such as
railroad workers,
tunnel construction workers, and
utility workers.A small increased risk of cancer in workers exposed to diesel exhaust has been suggested by some epidemiologic studies 
Workers are not the only segment of the population susceptible to PAH poisoning. Fetuses may be at risk for PAH exposure. PAH andits metabolites have been shown to cross the placenta in various animal studies. Because PAHs are excreted in breast milk, nursinginfants of exposed mothers can be secondarily exposed.Recent research out of Columbia University is showing that exposure to PAHs, can also reduce neonate’s intelligence. The study performed in New York showed IQ scores that were 4.31 and 4.67 points lower, respectively than those of less PAH exposed children.

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