PAHs and Phototoxicity

  • Ajeet K. Srivastav
  • Shikha Agnihotry
  • Syed Faiz Mujtaba
  • Sandeep Negi
  • Ankit Verma
  • Ratan Singh Ray


PAHs or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons belong to group of environmental pollutants which come under human carcinogens. PAHs is a class which refers to an immensely colossal number carbon and hydrogen along with two or more fused aromatic rings. These PAHs produced from chemicals occur naturally in coal, crude oil, and gasoline. The physical properties of PAHs include flammable, solid crystals at room temperature, and tobacco leads to the engenderment of these deleterious chemicals. Their presence is also detected in cigarette smoke and motor vehicle emissions up to a certain levels. The exposure of PAHs to general population is in the form of breathing ambient and indoor air, by the consumption of contaminated aliment containing cigarette smoke, tobacco, and polluted air. Occupational exposure of PAHs may be reason for breathing quandaries, chest pain, and vexation coughing and also cause cancer.


PAHs Photoproducts Phototoxicity Skin and cancer 


  1. 1.
    Sims RC, Overcash R (1983) Fate of polynuclear aromatic compounds (PNAs) in soil-plant systems. Residue Rev 88:1–68Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Van Noort PCM, Wondergem E (1985) Scavenging of airborne polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons by rain. Environ Sci Technol 19:1044–1048CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). In: Air quality guidelines for Europe. Copenhagen, World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe, 1987, pp. 105–117Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Tatsushi T, Ohnuki G, Ibuki Y (2008) Solar-simulated light-exposed benzo(a)pyrene induces phosphorylation of histone H2AX. Mutat Res 650:132–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Gao Y, Gao Y, Guan W, Huang L, Xu X, Zhang C, Chen X, Wu Y, Zeng G, Zhong N (2013) Antitumor effect of para-toluenesulfonamide against lung cancer xenograft in a mouse model. J Thorac Dis 5(4):472–483. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Liu S, Mizu H, Yamauchi H (2007) Molecular response to phototoxic stress of UVB-irradiated ketoprofen through arresting cell cycle in G2/M phase and inducing apoptosis. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 364:650–655CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Liu S, Mizu H, Yamauchi H (2010) Photoinflammatory responses to UV-irradiated ketoprofen mediated by the induction of ROS generation, enhancement of cyclooxygenase-2 expression, and regulation of multiple signalling pathways. Free Radic Biol Med 48:772–780CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Harrison RM, Perry R, Wellings RA (1975) Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons in raw, potable and waste waters. Water Res 9:331–346CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Choi H, Harrison R, Komulainen H, Delgado Saborit J (2010) “Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons”. WHO guidelines for indoor air quality: selected pollutants. World Health Organization, Geneva Retrieved 2014-12-12Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Xue W, Warshawsky D (2005) Metabolic activation of polycyclic and heterocyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and DNA damage: a review. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 206(1):73–93. Retrieved 2014-08-20CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Foote CS (1968) Mechanisms of photosensitized oxidation. There are several different types of photosensitized oxidation which may be important in biological systems. Science 162(3857):963–970 No abstract availableCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Jongeneelen FJ, Leijdekkers CM, Bos RP, Theuws JLG, Henderson PT (1985) Excretion of 3hydroxy-benzo[a] pyrene and mutagenicity in rat urine after exposure to benzo[a]pyrene. J Appl Toxicol 5(5):277–282CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Cosman M, de los Santos C, Fiala R, Hingerty BE, Singh SB, Ibanez V, Margulis LA, Live D, Geacintov NE, Broyde S, Patel DJ (1992) Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 89:1914–1918CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    IPCS (1998) Environmental health criteria No. 202. Selected non-heterocyclic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. International programme on chemical safety.
  15. 15.
    Jongeneelen FJ (2001) Benchmark guideline for urinary 1hydroxypyrene as biomarker of occupational exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Ann Occup Hyg 45(1):3–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    IARC (1983) Polynuclear aromatic compounds, part 1. Chemical, environmental and experimental data. IARC monographs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risk of chemicals to humans, vol 32. International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, p 477Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Boukamp P, Petrussevska RT, Breitkreutz D, Hornung J, Markham A, Fusenig NE (1988) Normal keratinization in a spontaneously immortalized aneuploid human keratinocyte cell line. J Cell Biol 106(3):761–771. PMID 2450098CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Schoop VM, Mirancea N, Fusenig NE (1999) Epidermal organization and differentiation of HaCaT keratinocytes in organotypic coculture with human dermal fibroblasts. J Investig Dermatol 112(3):343–353. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Lehmann B (1997) HaCaT cell line as a model system for vitamin D3 metabolism in human skin. J Investig Dermatol 108(1):78–82. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Gad SC (2007) Animal models in toxicology, 2nd edn. Taylor & Francis, Philadelphia, pp 334–402 ISBN 0-8247-5407-7 Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Daoud A, Verma A, Mujtaba F, Dwivedi A, Hans RK, Ray RS (2011) UVB- induced apoptosis and DNA damaging potential of chrysene via reactive oxygen species in human keratinocytes. Toxicol Lett 204:199–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Mujtaba SF, Dwivedi A, Mudiam MKR, Ali D, Yadav N, Ray RS (2011) Production of ROS by photosensitized anthracene under sunlight and UVR at ambient environmental intensities. Photochem Photobiol 87:1067–1076CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Ryter SW, Kim HP, Hoetzel A et al (2007) Mechanisms of cell death in oxidative stress. Antioxid Redox Signal 9:49–89CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Şardaş S, Aygün N, Karakaya A (1997) Genotoxicity studies on professional hair colorists exposed to oxidation hair dyes. Mutat Res Genet Toxicol Environ Mutagen 394:153–161CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ajeet K. Srivastav
    • 1
  • Shikha Agnihotry
    • 2
  • Syed Faiz Mujtaba
    • 3
  • Sandeep Negi
    • 1
  • Ankit Verma
    • 1
  • Ratan Singh Ray
    • 1
  1. 1.Photobiology Laboratory, System Toxicology and Health Risk Assessment GroupCSIR- Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (IITR)LucknowIndia
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical-informaticsSanjay Gandhi Post Graduate InstituteLucknowIndia
  3. 3.Department of Zoology, Faculty of ScienceShia P.G. College, University of LucknowLucknowIndia

Personalised recommendations