Medical Definition of Benzo(a)pyrene

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Benzo(a)pyrene: Abbreviated B(a)P. A member of a class of compounds known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The metabolites of B(a)P are mutagenic and highly carcinogenic. When the body tries to metabolize B(a)P, the resulting compounds react and bind to DNA which results in mutations and eventually cancer.

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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