Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) traceability in old buffalos living in south west part of Iran



  Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a class of complex substances that are produced during incomplete combustion of fossil fuels. PAHs are known to be persistent pollutants which can remain in nature for years. In 1991 during the first Persian Gulf War south west part of Iran was contaminated heavily. This study was undertaken to see if the PAHs can be traceable in animal tissues many years after the incidence. One hundred of buffalos aged 12±2 years old were selected from polluted regions and to compare the results, 50 camels at same range age were also selected from a control region where expected to be contaminated by local crude oil. All the animals were scarified and fat samples were collected. Sixteen PAHs were determined by HPLC. While some of low molecular weight PAHs were not detectable, in samples from polluted region significant amount of heavy molecular weight PAHs were detected in samples of same animal fat tissues. On the other hand although most of PAHs were detected in animal samples from control region but the amount of PAHs of high molecular weight were comparatively lower in control region. Results of this study reveals that south west part of I.R. of Iran was highly contaminated by pollutants emitted during burning of Kuwait oil well in 1991.This study may be helpful in finding the PAHs contamination and traceability of organic pollutants even after many years has passed from the incidence.