Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) are an important class of chemical carcinogens formed as a result of incomplete combustion; it is therefore found in grilled foods, tobacco smoke and in general, the environment. Previous studies have shown exposure of smokers and second hand smokers (SHS) towards a whole host of PAHs and more than 500 of these have been demonstrated in tobacco smoke. As it is ubiquitous in the environment, exposure may result from various sources; for cigarette smokers a number of these PAHs markers have been correlated to tobacco smoke exposure while others like benzo(a)pyrene has been associated with environmental and occupational exposures. Tobacco smoke from narghile or "shisha" has been shown to contain approximately 50 times more PAHs compared to cigarette smoke; this phenomenally high exposure can significantly increase risks of narghile smokers towards the toxic carcinogenic effects of this class of compounds. In this study, the smoke condensates in shisha water was extracted and analysed for 16 targeted PAHs using Selected Ion Monitoring (SIM) mode on the gas chromatograph mass spectrometer (GCMS). As part of the establishment of a validated quantitated method, the LOD (limit of detection), LOQ (limit of quantification), linearity, reproducibility and precision as well as robustness were determined for all 16 PAHs. The PAHs were quantitated in 20 shisha water collected from 20 different locations; as PAHs in shisha water may be directly related to the amount of charcoal and flavourings as well as amount of condensate, the profiles were found to be vastly/relatively different. Included is a discussion of these relative differences and their implications for shisha users. Finally, preliminary work is presented for the discovery of more toxic nitrated PAH in the shisha water condensate.


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