polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon

Definition / meaning of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon

A type of chemical formed when coal, oil, gas, garbage, tobacco, meat, and other substances are burned. These chemicals are also made for use in many products, including coal tar, creosote, roofing tar, pesticides, mothballs, dandruff shampoos, and some medicines. Being exposed to one of these chemicals over a long time may cause cancer. Also called PAH.

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Find More About 'polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon'

Source(s):

The Web site of the National Cancer Institute (http://www.cancer.gov/)

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