Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) refer to aromatic hydrocarbons containing two or more benzene rings. They are a type of persistent organic contaminants and have strong carcinogenic, teratogenic, and mutagenic properties. PAHs have a wide range of pollution sources. Incomplete combustion of organic materials such as coal, petroleum, wood, tobacco, and organic polymer compounds will produce PAHs. PAHs widely exist in the atmosphere, soil, water, sediment and other environmental media. PAHs are semi-volatile and can cause global pollution. The analysis of the atmospheric composition of eight continents in the United States shows that the PAHs in the atmosphere in industrial areas are more than 10 times higher than in agricultural areas. Moreover, PAHs can continuously accumulate, posing potential threats to the ecosystem and human health through the food chain.
Fig 1. The chemical structure of biphenylene
PAHs are genetically toxic, mutagenic and carcinogenic, and can cause many harms to the human body, such as damage to the respiratory system, circulatory system, and nervous system, and can also damage the liver and kidneys. As the number of rings increases, the chemical structure changes, and the hydrophobicity increases, its electrochemical stability, durability, resistance to biodegradation, and carcinogenicity will increase. As people pay more and more attention to environmental pollution, the monitoring of PAHs is becoming more and more important. The most common method currently used is ELISA, which has the advantages of simple operation, high sensitivity, strong specificity and low analysis cost. It is currently one of the ideal methods for detecting PAHs contaminants.
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