Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Science - (M.S.)


Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Environmental Science

First Advisor

Arthur Greenberg

Second Advisor

Richard B. Trattner

Third Advisor

Barbara B. Kebbekus


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons including benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) have been known for many years to be environmental carcinogen. Moreover, B(a)P has often been used as an indi¬cator for the carcinogenic potency of environmental matter. One of its exposure pathways, ingestion, may possibly be more important than other routes, conventionally studied such as inhalation. The purposes of this thesis are 1) to analyze the B(a)P concentrations in weekly composite and some daily meals obtained in the Total Human Exposure to Environmental Substances (THEES) study, 2) to develop techniques which can measure the levels of B(a)P in foods accurately and effici¬ently, 3) to compare exposure to B(a)P by inhalation vs ingestion. The analytical method developed is a hybrid of the previous recommended analytical procedures which involve food digestion with saponification, extraction by liquid-liquid partition steps, column chromatography on Florisil, solvent evaporation and concentration. Final analysis of B(a)P employs TLC separation and fluorescence detection techniques.

For the subjects of the THEES Study, the average daily exposure to B(a)P via food is 0.146 ug and it almost 5 times larger than inhalation exposure. Therefore, B(a)P content of foods should be studied and is a significant source of exposure.



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