Commenced in January 2007
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Chemical analysis Related Abstracts

3 Risks of Traditional Practices: Chemical and Health Assessment of Bakhour

Authors: Yehya Elsayed, Sarah Dalibalta, Fareedah Alqtaishat, Ioline Gomes, Nagelle Fernandes

Abstract:

Bakhour or Arabian incense is traditionally used to perfume houses, shops and clothing as part of cultural or religious practices in several Middle Eastern countries. Conventionally, Bakhour consists of a mixture of natural ingredients such as chips of agarwood (oud), musk and sandalwoods that are soaked in scented oil. Bakhour is usually burned by charcoal or by using gas or electric burners to produce the scented smoke. It is necessary to evaluate the impact of such practice on human health and environment especially that the burning of Bakhour is usually done on a regular basis and in closed areas without proper ventilation. Although significant amount of research has been reported in scientific literature on the chemical analysis of various types of incense smoke, unfortunately only very few of them focused specifically on the health impacts of Bakhour. Raw Bakhour samples, their smoke emissions and the ash residue were analyzed to assess the existence of toxic ingredients and their possible influence on health and the environment. Three brands of Bakhour samples were analyzed for the presence of harmful heavy metals and organic compounds. Thermal Desorption Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (TD-GC-MS) was used to identify organic compounds while Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) and Scanning Electron Microscope-Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectrometer (SEM-EDS) were used to analyze the presence of toxic and heavy metals. Organic compounds from the smoke were collected on specific tenax and activated carbon adsorption tubes. More than 850 chemical compounds were identified. The presence of 19 carcinogens, 23 toxins and 173 irritants were confirmed. Additionally, heavy metals were detected in amounts similar to those present in cigarettes. However, it was noticed that many of the detected compounds in the smoke lacked clinical studies on their health effects which shows the need for further clinical studies to be devoted to this area of study.

Keywords: Pollution, Chemical analysis, Indoor Environment, health risk, Bakhour, incense smoke

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2 Chemical and Health Assessment of Bakhour: Risks of Traditional Practices

Authors: Yehya Elsayed, Sarah Dalibalta, Fareedah Alqtaishat, Ioline Gomes and Nagelle Fernandes

Abstract:

Bakhour, or Arabian incense, is traditionally used to perfume houses, shops and clothing as part of cultural or religious practices in several Middle Eastern countries. Conventionally, Bakhour consists of a mixture of natural ingredients such as chips of agarwood (oud), musk and sandalwoods that are soaked in scented oil. Bakhour is usually burned by charcoal or by using gas or electric burners to produce the scented smoke. It is necessary to evaluate the impact of such practice on human health and environment especially that the burning of Bakhour is usually done on a regular basis and in closed areas without proper ventilation. Although significant amount of research has been reported in scientific literature on the chemical analysis of various types of incense smoke, unfortunately, only very few of them focused specifically on the health impacts of Bakhour. Raw Bakhour samples, their smoke emissions and the ash residue were analyzed to assess the existence of toxic ingredients and their possible influence on health and the environment. Three brands of Bakhour samples were analyzed for the presence of harmful heavy metals and organic compounds. Thermal Desorption Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (TD-GC-MS) was used to identify organic compounds while Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) and Scanning Electron Microscope-Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectrometer (SEM-EDS) were used to analyze the presence of toxic and heavy metals.. Organic compounds from the smoke were collected on specific tenax and activated carbon adsorption tubes. More than 850 chemical compounds were identified. The presence of 19 carcinogens, 23 toxins, and 173 irritants were confirmed. Additionally, heavy metals were detected in amounts similar to those present in cigarettes. However, it was noticed that many of the detected compounds in the smoke lacked clinical studies on their health effects which shows the need for further clinical studies to be devoted to this area of study.

Keywords: Pollution, Chemical analysis, Indoor Environment, health risk, Bakhour, incense smoke

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1 Chemical Analysis of Particulate Matter (PM₂.₅) and Volatile Organic Compound Contaminants

Authors: S. Ebadzadsahraei, H. Kazemian

Abstract:

The main objective of this research was to measure particulate matter (PM₂.₅) and Volatile Organic Compound (VOCs) as two classes of air pollutants, at Prince George (PG) neighborhood in warm and cold seasons. To fulfill this objective, analytical protocols were developed for accurate sampling and measurement of the targeted air pollutants. PM₂.₅ samples were analyzed for their chemical composition (i.e., toxic trace elements) in order to assess their potential source of emission. The City of Prince George, widely known as the capital of northern British Columbia (BC), Canada, has been dealing with air pollution challenges for a long time. The city has several local industries including pulp mills, a refinery, and a couple of asphalt plants that are the primary contributors of industrial VOCs. In this research project, which is the first study of this kind in this region it measures physical and chemical properties of particulate air pollutants (PM₂.₅) at the city neighborhood. Furthermore, this study quantifies the percentage of VOCs at the city air samples. One of the outcomes of this project is updated data about PM₂.₅ and VOCs inventory in the selected neighborhoods. For examining PM₂.₅ chemical composition, an elemental analysis methodology was developed to measure major trace elements including but not limited to mercury and lead. The toxicity of inhaled particulates depends on both their physical and chemical properties; thus, an understanding of aerosol properties is essential for the evaluation of such hazards, and the treatment of such respiratory and other related diseases. Mixed cellulose ester (MCE) filters were selected for this research as a suitable filter for PM₂.₅ air sampling. Chemical analyses were conducted using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) for elemental analysis. VOCs measurement of the air samples was performed using a Gas Chromatography-Flame Ionization Detector (GC-FID) and Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) allowing for quantitative measurement of VOC molecules in sub-ppb levels. In this study, sorbent tube (Anasorb CSC, Coconut Charcoal), 6 x 70-mm size, 2 sections, 50/100 mg sorbent, 20/40 mesh was used for VOCs air sampling followed by using solvent extraction and solid-phase micro extraction (SPME) techniques to prepare samples for measuring by a GC-MS/FID instrument. Air sampling for both PM₂.₅ and VOC were conducted in summer and winter seasons for comparison. Average concentrations of PM₂.₅ are very different between wildfire and daily samples. At wildfire time average of concentration is 83.0 μg/m³ and daily samples are 23.7 μg/m³. Also, higher concentrations of iron, nickel and manganese found at all samples and mercury element is found in some samples. It is able to stay too high doses negative effects.

Keywords: Chemical analysis, Air Pollutants, VOCs, volatile organic compound, particulate matter (PM₂.₅)

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