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Environ Anal Health Toxicol > Volume 34:2019 > Article
Environmental Analysis Health and Toxicology 2019;34(4):e2019011-0. doi: https://doi.org/10.5620/eaht.e2019011
Biomonitoring of concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in blood and urine of children at playgrounds within Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria
Verla Andrew Wirnkor1, Verla Evelyn Ngozi2, Chigbo Medo Ajero3, Lele Kelechi Charity4, Okechukwu StellaMaris Ngozi5, Enyoh Christian Ebere1 , Amaobi Collins Emeka1
1Group Research in Analytical Chemistry, Environment and Climate Change (GRACE & CC), Department of Chemistry, Imo State University, PMB 2000 Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria
2Department of Environmental Technology, School of Environmental Technology Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State Nigeria
3Department of Animal and Environmental Biology, Imo State University, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria
4Department of Biochemistry, Imo State University, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria
5Department of Nursing Science, Imo State College of Nursing and Health Science, Orlu, Imo State, Nigeria
Corresponding Author: Enyoh Christian Ebere ,Email: verngo@yahoo.com
Received: June 16, 2019;  Accepted: October 14, 2019.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) exposure is among the leading air pollutants associated with diverse adverse health effects due to their persistent, bio-accumulative and toxic characteristics. Children are most affected by these pollutants, yet studies directly related children to these pollutants are scarce in Nigeria. In this study, blood and urine from 36 children between the ages 4-14 years were collected as per sterile procedures by a licensed phlebotomist from the antecubital fossa into BD vacutainer tubes® while a mid-stream urine sample into acid-washed 120 mL BD vacutainer urine cups and stored in refrigerator at –4˚C for 6 hours, then each 5 mL was extracted with 10 mL of pentane and analyzed for 15 PAHs using GC-MS. Results revealed that PAHs concentrations (53.48 to 70.8 μg/dL) in blood was lower than in urine (94.98 to 115.04 μg/dL). Mean values had no significant (p>0.5) differences between schools, possibly due to the fact that all schools were experiencing similar anthropogenic disturbances. At 5% level of significance, positive and strong correlationships (r=0.83, r=0.73) were observed for fluorene-fluoranthene (FLa) and benzo (a) anthracene-FLa respectively in blood samples. Two and three rings PAHs had generally low concentrations in both blood and urine. Despite being the most distributed compound, the concentration of dibenzo (a,h) anthracene was highest for urine than in blood. Urine PAHs showed higher concentration of carcinogenic PAHs than blood. Elimination ratios (ER) such as for acenaphthene (0.06) and anthracene (Ant; 0.11) were considered low while values such as for FLa (1.36) and indeno [1, 2, 3-cd] pyrene (1.55) were considered high ER. Trends in elimination ratios showed close similarity. In conclusion there was elevated PAHs in blood and urine of children with consequent high carcinogenic and then non-carcinogenic risks. This research is significant in setting the stage for more detailed work at same time alerting policy makers on the need for urgent mitigation steps that will reduce children exposure to this class of dangerous pollutants.
Keywords: Biological, carcinogenic risk, environment, health, pollutants, pyrogenic, toxicity
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