Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) Content in Cattle Hides and Meat Singed with Scrap Rubber Tyres
Scrap rubber tyre is used as fuel for singeing animal carcasses in third world countries despite the fact that it can impart hazardous substances like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) on meat. The PAH contents of cattle hide and meat samples singed with flame produced by scrap car tyre in abattoirs located in Umuahia, Aba, Okigwe and Mbaise, South-Eastern Nigeria, were evaluated with Gas chromatography fitted with flame ionization detector (GC-FID). The target analytes were the sixteen non-alkylated priority PAHs which were determined in the samples through ultrasonic extraction, sample clean up and GC-FID analysis. The results revealed that mean concentrations of the carcinogenic PAH, benzo(a)pyrene in the consumer ready singed and washed samples from Aba were lower than EU limit of 2 μg/kg. For samples collected from Umuahia, mean benzo(a)pyrene concentrations were higher in the consumer ready singed washed hide and meat samples compared to the EU limit. Mean benzo(a)pyrene concentrations in the singed washed samples from Okigwe and Mbaise were also lower than the EU limits. The results indicate that the use of rubber tyres for singeing cattle hides and meat can deposit dangerous levels of PAHs which puts consumers of such products at the risk of health hazards like cancer. It is recommended that government at all levels should enact and strictly enforce laws banning the use of scrap rubber tyres for processing food.
Keywords: Cattle hide, meat, tyre, singeing, hydrocarbons