The Risk Assessment Information System

Toxicity Profiles

Condensed Toxicity Summary for BENZO[K]FLUORANTHENE

NOTE: Although the toxicity values presented in these toxicity profiles were correct at the time they were produced, these values are subject to change. Users should always refer to the Toxicity Value Database for the current toxicity values.

May 1994

Prepared by: Rosmarie A. Faust, Ph.D., Chemical Hazard Evaluation and Communication Group, Biomedical and Environmental Information Analysis Section, Health and Safety Research Division, *, Oak Ridge, Tennessee.


*Managed by Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Inc., for the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC05-84OR21400.

Benzo[k]fluoranthene, a crystalline solid with a chemical formula of C20H12 and a molecular weight of 252.32 (Lide, 1991), is a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) with one five-membered and four six-membered rings. There is no commercial production or known use of this compound (IARC, 1983). Benzo[k]fluoranthene is found in fossil fuels and occurs ubiquitously in products of incomplete combustion (IARC, 1983) and in soils, groundwater, and surface waters at hazardous waste sites (ATSDR, 1990).

No absorption or excretion data were available for benzo[k]fluoranthene; however, by analogy to structurally-related PAHs, primarily benzo[a]pyrene, it would be expected to be absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, lungs, and skin (EPA, 1991). Rat liver microsomes have been shown to metabolize benzo[k]fluoranthene to the dihydrodiol, 8,9-dihydro-8,9-dihydroxy benzo[k]fluoranthene (LaVoie et al., 1980).

No data were found concerning the acute, subchronic, chronic, developmental, or reproductive toxicity of benzo[k]fluoranthene. Because of a lack of toxicity data, an oral reference dose (RfD) or inhalation reference concentration (RfC) have not been derived (EPA, 1994).

No long-term oral or inhalation bioassays were available to assess the carcinogenicity of benzo[k]fluoranthene. Benzo[k]fluoranthene was tested for carcinogenicity in dermal application, subcutaneous (s.c.) injection, lung implantation, and intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection studies. Dermal applications of 0.5% solutions of benzo[k]fluoranthene for life produced only a few skin papillomas in mice (Wynder and Hoffmann, 1959), but in initiation-promotion assays, benzo[k]fluoranthene was active as an initiator of skin carcinogenesis (LaVoie et al., 1982; Amin et al., 1985). Injection site sarcomas developed in mice given three s.c. injections of 0.6 mg benzo[k]fluoranthene (Lacassagne et al., 1963) and dose-related increases of epidermoid carcinomas of the lungs were reported in rats receiving single lung implants of 0.16-4.15 mg benzo[k]fluoranthene (Deutsch-Wenzel et al., 1983). In a short-term assay, hepatic and lung tumors occurred in newborn mice receiving 2.1 umol benzo[k]fluoranthene via i.p. injection (LaVoie et al., 1987).

Based on no human data and sufficient evidence for carcinogenicity in animals, EPA has assigned a weight-of-evidence classification of B2, probable human carcinogen, to benzo[k]fluoranthene (EPA, 1994). Retrieve Toxicity Profiles Formal Version

Last Updated 8/29/97

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