Determination of parent and hydroxy PAHs in personal PM₂.₅ and urine samples collected during Native American fish smoking activities

Sci Total Environ. 2015 Feb 1;505:694-703. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.10.051. Epub 2014 Oct 30.


A method was developed for the measurement of 19 parent PAHs (PAHs) and 34 hydroxylated PAHs (OH-PAHs) in urine and personal air samples of particulate matter less than 2.5 μm in diameter (PM₂.₅) using GC-MS and validated using NIST SRM 3672 (Organic Contaminants in Smoker's Urine) and SRM 3673 (Organic Contaminants in Nonsmoker's Urine). The method was used to measure PAHs and OH-PAHs in urine and personal PM₂.₅ samples collected from the operators of two different fish smoking facilities (tipi and smoke shed) burning two different wood types (alder and apple) on the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) while they smoked salmon. Urine samples were spiked with β-glucuronidase/arylsulfatase to hydrolyze the conjugates of OH-PAHs and the PAHs and OH-PAHs were extracted using Plexa and C18 solid phases, in series. The 34 OH-PAHs were derivatized using MTBSTFA, and the mixture was measured by GC-MS. The personal PM₂.₅ samples were extracted using pressurized liquid extraction, derivatized with MTBSTFA and analyzed by GC-MS for PAHs and OH-PAHs. Fourteen isotopically labeled surrogates were added to accurately quantify PAHs and OH-PAHs in the urine and PM₂.₅ samples and three isotopically labeled internal standards were used to calculate the recovery of the surrogates. Estimated detection limits in urine ranged from 6.0 to 181 pg/ml for OH-PAHs and from 3.0 to 90 pg/ml for PAHs, and, in PM₂.₅, they ranged from 5.2 to 155 pg/m(3) for OH-PAHs and from 2.5 to 77 pg/m(3) for PAHs. The results showed an increase in OH-PAH concentrations in urine after 6h of fish smoking and an increase in PAH concentrations in air within each smoking facility. In general, the PAH exposure in the smoke shed was higher than in the tipi and the PAH exposure from burning apple wood was higher than burning alder.

Keywords: Fish smoking; Native Americans; OH-PAHs; Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants / analysis
  • Air Pollutants / urine*
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Food Handling / methods
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American
  • Occupational Exposure / analysis*
  • Occupational Exposure / statistics & numerical data
  • Particulate Matter / analysis
  • Particulate Matter / urine*
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons / analysis
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons / urine*


  • Air Pollutants
  • Particulate Matter
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons