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Sci Total Environ. 2016 Nov 1;569-570:262-268. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.06.108. Epub 2016 Jun 22.

Chemical analysis and potential health risks of hookah charcoal.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, Chemistry & Environmental Sciences, American University of Sharjah, Sharjah, P.O. Box 26666, United Arab Emirates. Electronic address: yelsayed@aus.edu.
2
Department of Biology, Chemistry & Environmental Sciences, American University of Sharjah, Sharjah, P.O. Box 26666, United Arab Emirates. Electronic address: sdalibalta@aus.edu.
3
Department of Biology, Chemistry & Environmental Sciences, American University of Sharjah, Sharjah, P.O. Box 26666, United Arab Emirates.

Abstract

Hookah (waterpipe) smoking is a very common practice that has spread globally. There is growing evidence on the hazardous consequences of smoking hookah, with studies indicating that its harmful effects are comparable to cigarette smoking if not worse. Charcoal is commonly used as a heating source for hookah smoke. Although charcoal briquettes are thought to be one of the major contributors to toxicity, their composition and impact on the smoke generated remains largely unidentified. This study aims to analyze the elemental composition of five different raw synthetic and natural charcoals by using Carbon-Hydrogen-Nitrogen (CHN) analysis, inductively coupled plasma (ICP), and scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive X-Ray spectrometry (SEM-EDS). Elemental analysis showed that the raw charcoals contain heavy metals such as zinc, iron, cadmium, vanadium, aluminum, lead, chromium, manganese and cobalt at concentrations similar, if not higher than, cigarettes. In addition, thermal desorption-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (TD-GC-MS) was used to analyze the chemical composition of the smoke produced from burning the charcoal samples. The smoke emitted from charcoal was found to be the source of numerous compounds which could be hazardous to health. A total of seven carcinogens, 39 central nervous system depressants and 31 respiratory irritants were identified.

KEYWORDS:

Carcinogen; Charcoal; Chemical assessment; Health risk; Hookah; Toxicity

PMID:
27343945
DOI:
10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.06.108
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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