Some Possible Products of the Reactions of O(1D) and O2(1Δ) with Unsaturated Hydrocarbons
There is a considerable and growing body of evidence which indicates that arene oxides, or epoxides, play a key role in the carcinogenic action of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons [1–5]. In at least one case, benzo[a]pyrene (I), the “ultimate carcinogen” (the active form of the molecule) may have been identified, as the 7,8-dihydroxy-9,10-epoxide [3,4]. These epoxides are formed metabolically, by a process about which relatively little is known. For example, there appears to be a general uncertainty regarding the nature of the oxygen-containing entity that interacts with the hydrocarbon in producing the epoxide; among the apparent possibilities are singlet oxygen atoms, singlet oxygen molecules, superoxide anions, and various peroxide species.
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