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Definition of Benzo(a)pyrene

Benzo(a)pyrene: Abbreviated B(a)P. A member of a class of compounds known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The metabolites of B(a)P are mutagenic and highly carcinogenic. When the body tries to metabolize B(a)P, the resulting compounds react and bind to DNA which results in mutations and eventually cancer.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=24289
Last Editorial Review: 9/20/2012

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