[Frontiers in Bioscience E4, 914-923, January 1, 2012]

The impact of aromatic amines on the environment: risks and damages

Elisa Raquel Anastacio Ferraz1, Gisele Augusto Rodrigues de Oliveira1, Danielle Palma de Oliveira1

1Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Ribeirao Preto, University of Sao Paulo, Av. do Cafe, s/n, 14040-903, Ribeirao Preto/SP, Brazil


1. Abstract
2. Introduction
3. Types and sources of aromatic amines in the environment
3.1. Aromatic amines in the air
3.2. Aromatic amines in the water
3.3. Aromatic amines in the soil
4. Metabolism and bioactivation of aromatic amines
5. Risks and damage
5.1. Toxicity, mutagenicity and carcinogenicity of aromatic amines
5.1.1. Azo pigments
6. Determination of aromatic amines in the environment
7. Acknowledgements
8. References


Aromatic amines are a group of chemicals whose ubiquitous presence in the environment is a result of the multitude of sources from which they originate. These compounds are widely used as raw materials or at intermediate stages in the manufacturing of industrial chemicals such as pesticides, medicines, dyestuffs, polymers, surfactants, cosmetics and corrosion inhibitors, especially in dyestuff factories. As with most chemical carcinogens, aromatic amines need to be metabolized into reactive electrophiles in order to exert their carcinogenic effects. This activation typically involves N-oxidation of arylamines to yield N-hydroxyarylamines. Since these amines are potential carcinogenic agents and are discharged into the atmosphere, water and soil, they constitute an important class of environmental pollutants of enormous concern due to the potential for human exposure.