Measurement of 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in narghile waterpipe tobacco smoke

Food Chem Toxicol. 2008 May;46(5):1582-90. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2007.12.028. Epub 2008 Jan 12.


An analytical method for the determination of 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the mainstream of narghile smoke is presented. The smoke was generated using a digital waterpipe smoking machine connected to the mouthpiece of a narghile that was loaded with 10 g of a popular flavored tobacco and kept alight with quick-light charcoal briquettes that are commonly used for this purpose. A standard smoking regimen consisting of 171 puffs of 530 ml volume and 2.6s duration spaced 17s apart was used, and the smoke condensates were collected on glass fiber filters. PAHs were extracted with toluene assisted by sonication. For purification, the extract was passed through a silica cartridge and eluted with hexane. The eluent was preconcentrated, reconstituted in acetonitrile, and analyzed using a GC-MS-SICP method. The method showed good selectivity, repeatability, accuracy and sensitivity. The limit of detection ranged from 15 to 96 ng for benzo[a]pyrene and indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyrene, respectively. It was found that a single narghile smoking session delivers approximately 50 times the quantities of carcinogenic 4- and 5-membered ring PAHs as a single 1R4F cigarette smoked using the FTC protocol. The pattern of PAH concentrations suggested that formation pathways differ from those of the cigarette, possibly reflecting the differing combustion conditions of the two smoking devices.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Calibration
  • Carcinogens / analysis
  • Chromatography, Gas
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Nicotiana / chemistry*
  • Plastics / chemistry*
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons / analysis*
  • Reference Standards
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Smoke / analysis*


  • Carcinogens
  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Plastics
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
  • Smoke