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Because of the lack of data for the carcinogenicity and threshold toxicity of acenaphthene risk assessment values cannot be derived. The ambient water quality criterion of 0.2 mg/l is based on organoleptic data, which has no known relationship to potential human health effects. Acenaphthene has been shown to produce nuclear and cytological changes in microbial and plant species. Results of acenaphthene mutagenicity studies in microorganisms and carcinogenicity study are negative. Despite the negative results in the newt (Triturus cristatus) the fact that acenaphthene is a polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH), a class of chemicals that contain carcinogens, the carcinogenic potential of acenaphthene is of great concern. Inadequate evidence to allow any conclusion regarding carcinogenicity for humans appropriately places acenaphthene in EPA Group D.
U.S. EPA. Health Effects Assessment for Acenaphthene. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C., EPA/600/8-88/010 (NTIS PB88182068).