Benzofluoranthene [sum b+j+k]

formula: C20H12; CAS Registry Number: 205-99-2 (Benzo[b]fluoranthene); 205-82-3 (Benzo[j]fluoranthene); 207-08-9 (Benzo[k]fluoranthene)

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons with four six-membered rings and one five-membered ring

In the samples of the German Environmental Specimen Bank, benzo[b]fluoranthene, benzo[j]fluoranthene and benzo[k]fluoranthene are determined together.

The substances are present in fossil fuels and are formed during the incomplete combustion of organic materials. They are detected in automobile and industrial emissions, in tobacco smoke, and in food. In the atmosphere, they are predominantly particle-bound and can enter soils and waters through wet and dry deposition.

Benzo[b]fluoranthene, benzo[j]fluoranthene and benzo[k]fluoranthene are persistent in the environment and accumulate strongly in environmental compartments. Benzo[k]fluoranthene is classified as a substance of very high concern under REACH. It is carcinogenic, persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) and very persistent and very bioaccumulative (vPvB). Benzo[b]fluoranthene and benzo[j]fluoranthene are also mutagenic and carcinogenic in animal studies and are classified as possibly carcinogenic to humans.

The three substances are on the EU list of PAHs, which are recommended for monitoring. Benzo[b]fluoranthene and Benzo[k]fluoranthene are also among the 16 PAHs included by the U.S. EPA in the list of priority pollutants (EPA list).


Sampling area

Sampling period

1985 - 2022