keywords: Cigarette, tobacco, PAHs, sources, toxic equivalency factor, Nigeria
The concentrations of the USEPA 16 priority PAHs were investigated in 27 popular commercial brands of cigarette in the Nigerian market by using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry after extraction by ultra-sonication, using n-hexane/dichloromethane as solvent and for clean up. The risk of PAHs in these commercial brands of cigarette was assessed using the benzo[a]pyrene carcinogenic and mutagenic equivalency factors, and the sources of PAHs in these products were determined using the PAH isomeric ratios and principal component analysis. The concentrations of Ʃ16 PAHs in these commercial brands of cigarette ranged 425 to 10,300 µg kg-1 with an average of 2090 µg kg-1. The compositional patterns of PAHs in these brands of cigarette follow the order 2-3 rings>4-rings>5-6 rings. The benzo[a]pyrene carcinogenic (BaPTEQ) and mutagenic (BaPMEQ) equivalency factor ranged from 0.1 to 731 with an average of 128 µg kg-1 and from 0.9 to 1090 µg kg-1 with an average of 150 µg kg-1. The concentrations of the ƩPAHs in these samples are comparable to concentrations found in cigarette smoke and smokeless tobacco products in the literature. The PAHs isomer ratios indicate that the source of PAHs were mainly from petroleum, vehicular emissions, combustion of coal, wood and biomass.