Health risk assessment and source identification of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in commercially available singed cowhide within the Greater Accra Region, Ghana

  • C. K. Tay
  • L. K. Doamekpor
  • S. Mohammed
  • G. Dartey
  • R. Kuddy
  • E. Fianyaglo
  • M. Mawuena
Keywords: Health risk assessment, source identification, PAH, singed cowhide, Greater- Accra, Ghana


This study ascertains the sources and potential carcinogenic threats of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in singed cowhide. The objective was to assess the sources of PAHs and the health threats singed cowhide possess to the consuming public. A total of fifty-four (54) cowhide samples from selected markets within the Greater-Accra Region of Ghana were analyzed using Agilent GC 6890N, MS5975B Series gas chromatography in a splitless mode. The study shows that, singed cowhide within the Greater Accra Region is dominated by positive genotoxicity PAHs classified as carcinogens (1) and possible carcinogens (2B) as well as positive and questionable genotoxic PAHs that are not classifiable (3). The [B(a)P]eq and PEC results suggest that consumption of singed cowhide at the rate of 25.2 g/day poses potential adverse health effects such as cancer, mutations and birth defects in terms of B(a)P to humans. Results further show that, the HQ/HI < 1, thus, there is no concern for potential human health risks caused by exposure to non-carcinogenic PAHs in singed cowhide. However, the carcinogenic toxic equivalent (TEQs) values for both adults and children were greater than the screening values and therefore, there is concern for potential human health risks caused by exposure to carcinogenic PAHs in singed cowhide. Source assessment of PAHs in singed cowhide shows that, PAH sources in singed cowhide is predominantly from pyrolitic rather than petrogenic origins. Thus, the PAHs in singed cowhide within the Greater Accra Region originate primarily from incomplete combustion and of petroleum origin due to singeing. 


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eISSN: 0855-4307