Fluoranthene, a PAH

PAH-FA, PAH-Fluoranten



CAS no


Molecular formula


Fluoranthene belongs to the group polycyclic hydrocarbons (PAH) and consists of three benzene rings bound together. It is a colourless to yellow, solid substance that is insoluble in water.1


There is no commercial production of fluoranthene, with the exception of small-scale production for laboratory work.

Sources and transportation pathways

Fluoranthene and other PAHs are formed unintentionally during combustion. It is also present in fossil fuels and enters the environment during incomplete combustion in for example coke ovens and motor vehicles as well as through cigarette smoke and small-scale wood burning. PAHs are also emitted to the environment during forest fires and volcanic activity. One important transportation pathway is by air, where fluoranthene occurs bound to particles and in gas phase. Emissions to water occur from wastewater treatment plants. In water, fluoranthene binds to particles and sediments.
3 Industrial operations such as production and processing of metals, paper and wood product processing and operations within the energy sector are important sources of PAHs.4

Spillage of products containing PAHs, for example fuel oil or fossil fuels, can lead to its presence in soil and water. Tyres containing high-aromatic oils (HA oils) contribute to the presence of PAHs in the environments through tyre wear as well as the recycling of tyres for manufacturing of rubber granulate that is used in artificial grass fields.5

on environment and health

Fluoranthene is very toxic to aquatic organisms and causes long-term effects. The substance is poisonous if ingested and may cause severe eye irritation.

Exposure to combustion products such as soot and tar, which contain PAH to varying extents, can cause an increased risk of cancer.7

International agreements and regulations

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are regulated by the UN Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP). The presence of fluoranthene in products is for example regulated by the EU REACH regulation (EC 1907/2006). Fluoranthene is regulated by the EU Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC).

The EU E-PRTR regulation regulates how data on fluoranthene emissions is made available.



1 https://rib.msb.se
2 https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/
3 https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/
4 http://utslappisiffror.naturvardsverket.se/Sok/
5 https://www.kemi.se/prio-start/kemikalier-i-praktiken/kemikaliegrupper/polycykliska-aromatiska-kolvaten-pah
6 https://echa.europa.eu/
7 https://ki.se/imm/pah-polycykliska-aromatiska-kolvaten