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Environmental fate & pathways

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There are no data available for anthracene oil (benzo[a]pyrene < 50 ppm, AOL) itself. But its key constituents PAH are stable aromatic compounds that do not contain hydrolysable groups. Thus, they cannot undergo hydrolyses under environmental conditions.

The most important (abiotic) degradation process of PAH in air as well as in water is indirect photolysis under the influence of radicals like OH, O3, and NO3. The measured degradation rate constants vary widely according to the technique used. Under laboratory conditions, the half-life of the reaction of PAH with airborne OH radicals is about one day.

Adsorption of high-molecular-mass PAH onto carbonaceous particles in the environment has a stabilizing effect.

For some PAH, photodegradation in water seems to be more rapid than in air.

(Information on abiotic degradation taken from WHO (1998): Selected Non-Heterocyclic Policyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons - IPCS Environmental Health Criteria 202. International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS), WHO - World Health Organisation, Geneva, Switzerland, 1998)