This study investigated recent discoveries of Benzo(a)Pyrene (BaP) in order to determine the current threat BaP poses to residents of Southern California. Literature reviews comprise the research done on BaP-induced health effects. Primary articles reviewed include “Adverse Effect of Sub-Chronic Exposure to Benzo(a)Pyrene and Protective Effect of Butylated Hydroxyanisole on Learning and Memory Ability in Male
Sprague-Dawley Rat” by Xiao Liang (2014), and “Bioaccumulation and oxidative damage in juvenile scallop Chlamys farreri exposed to benzo[a]Pyrene, benzo[b]Fluoranthene and chrysene” by Meng Xiu (2014). These studies conclude that BaP potentially impairs memory and learning abilities, and displays bioaccumulative properties, respectively. Subsequent research conducted in Lake Perris, CA, provided BaP levels from water and sediment samples. Of the water samples, an average of 5.466 µg/mL BaP (standard deviation of 0.30822) was determined at one site, while the other sites failed to yield detectable concentrations. A total average of sediment samples from all three sediment sites was found to be 0.5318 µg/kg (standard deviation of 0.21332). The concentrations used to suggest BaP-induced effects on memory and learning were nearly 3000 fold greater than the average level detected in Lake Perris’ sediment. In conclusion, while BaP concentrations in Lake Perris may not raise immediate concern, due to its bioaccumulative properties, it should still be rendered as such. This calls for progressive measures to reduce BaP emission into the environment.
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