General Information

Chemical Names: BENZO[a]PYRENE
CAS number: 50-32-8
Functional Class:
  • Food Contaminant


Evaluation year: 1991
Comments: The Committee concluded that B(a)P is a genotoxic carcinogen in rodents, producing forestomach and lung tumors in mice and esophageal, forestomach, and mammary gland tumors in rats when administered via the oral route. Myelotoxic and teratogenic effects were also noted in rodents. The Committee concluded that carcinogenicity was the critical effect for conduct of human health risk assessment of oral exposure to B(a)P and noted that the estimated range of daily dietary intakes of B(a)P in human populations were 4 orders of magnitude lower than dietary levels reported to be non-carcinogenic in a rat bioassay. This large difference between estimated human intake levels and doses that produce tumors in rats suggests that any human health effects of the current levels of B(a)P are likely to be small. Despite this, the considerable uncertainties in risk estimation require that efforts should be made to minimize human exposure to benzo [a]pyrene as far as is practicable.
Tolerable Intake: NOT ESTABLISHED, genotoxic carcinogen
Meeting: 37
Report: TRS 806-JECFA 37/27
Tox Monograph: FAS 28-JECFA 37/301
Toxicological study
Pivotal Study: None selected. Quantitative risk assessment was not performed.
Animal specie: Rats and mice
Effect: Carcinogenicity
Point of departure: None specified