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Benzopyrenes By Martin R. Osborne and Neil T. Crosby (Cambridge University Press, 32 East 57th Street, New York, 10022, USA 1987. 329 pp. US$79.50). Cyclopenta[a]phenanthrenes By Maurice M. Coombs and Tarlochan S. Bhatt (Cambridge University Press, 32 East 57th Street, New York, 10022, 1987. 266 pp. US$69.50) The Chemistry and Biology of Benz[a]anthracenes By M.S. Newman, B. Tierney and S. Veeraghavan (Cambridge University Press, 32 East 57th Street, New York 10022, 1988.228 pp. US$69.50). These three well produced monographs, the first on benzo[a]pyrenes and benzo[e]pyrenes, the second on cyclopenta[a]phenanthrenes and the third on benz[a]anthracenes are companion volumes in the Cambridge Monographs series on cancer research. The contents develop from an introduction to synthesis of representative compounds, survey of their physical and chemical properties, and consideration of a variety of their derivatives; understandably, particular attention is given to derived epoxides and diols. These chapters provide good summaries of syntheses and a wealth of detail on compounds of particular interest, together with appropriate references.

Some variability in the content of the volumes reveals the differing amounts of research performed on these compound classes. Thus the monograph on benzopyrenes has a series of chapters on environmental occurence and analysis of these compounds. An interesting chapter in the book on cyclopenta[a]phenanthrenes attempts to relate the x-ray crystallographic data on molecular strain to carcinogenicity. Biological effects of these materials are covered to variable depths in these volumes, again reflecting the concerns generated by the known behaviour of, for example, the benzopyrenes.
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Author:Brindle, I.D.; Gibson, M.S.
Publication:Canadian Chemical News
Article Type:Book Review
Date:May 1, 1989
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