Benzo(a)pyrene (B(a)P) is a member of a class of compounds known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) which generally occur as complex mixtures and not as single compounds. PAHs are primarily by-products of incomplete combustion. These combustion sources are numerous, including natural sources such as wildfires, residential wood burning, improperly charbroiled food, industrial processes, transportation, energy production and use, smoking tobacco, and disposal activities such a as open trash burning. It is highly carcinogenic, and it is listed as a Group 1 carcinogen by the IARC.
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