Advertisement

Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Assessment of levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the oil from Kuwait oil lakes

Abstract

In an attempt to assess the potential impacts resulting from the oil fires started during the Gulf War, levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were determined in Kuwaiti oil lakes. Samples were collected from two oil lakes within each of the four oil fields heavily damaged during the 1991 Gulf War. The oil samples were fractionated and the aromatic fraction analyzed quantitatively by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). In addition, the effect of weathering on the PAH content was monitored over a 21-month period. The results indicated that total PAH contents initially ranged from 52.4 to 425.7 mg/kg in oil lakes. Phenanthrene and chrysene were the major PAHs in most of the samples. Benzo(a)pyrene was detected in all samples in varying amounts (0.46 to 5.3 mg/kg). Total PAH contents were higher, after 21 months, ranging from 59.55 to 616.9 mg/kg. Concentration of benzo(a)pyrene also increased considerably (from 0.16 to 22.2 mg/kg). The hazard potential of these compounds in Kuwait's environment was assessed and indicated that large amounts of the remaining oil will continue to have serious ecological implications unless immediate measures are taken to deal with the problem.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Arab Times (Local Newspaper), November 8, (1992), p 5

  2. Al-Awadhi N, Puskas K, Al-Mutawa A, Literathy P (1993) Assessment of the potential risk associated with the oil desert soil in Kuwait. Presented at Conference on Risk, Risk Analysis Procedures and Epidemiological Confirmation, International Association on Water Quality, Los Angeles, August 9–13

  3. Al-Sulaimi J, Vishwanathan MV, Szekely F, Al-Sumait A, Senay Y (1992) Assessment of the impact of the crisis on ground water pollution from massive oil spillage from damaged oil wells. Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait, Report No. KISR4176

  4. Al-Sulaimi J, Vishwanathan MN, and Szekely F (1993) Effect of oil pollution on fresh groundwater in Kuwait. Environ Geol 22:246–256

  5. Al-Yakoob SN, Saeed T (1994) Potential hazard associated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in weathered crude oil from Kuwait oil lakes. J Environ Sci Health (in press)

  6. EPC (1991) State of the Environment Report. A case study of the crimes against the environment. Environment Protection Council, Kuwait, pp 1–49

  7. Greenpeace (1992) Environmental legacy of the Gulf War. Greenpeace Report, pp 6–41

  8. IARC Working Group (1983) Monograph on the evaluation of the carcinogenic risk of chemicals to humans. Vol. 32. Polynuclear aromatic compounds, Part 1. Chemical, environmental and experimental data. International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France, pp 1–477

  9. Johnson DW, Kilby CG, McKenna DS, Saunders RW, Jenkins JW, Smith FB, Foot JS (1991) Airborne observations of the physical and chemical characteristics of the Kuwait oil smoke plume. Nature 353:617–621

  10. Khordagui H (1991) Comments on current environmental events in Kuwait. Environ Manag 15:455–459

  11. Literathy P (1992) Environmental consequences of the Gulf War in Kuwait. Impact on water resources. Water Sci Technol 26:21–30

  12. Price ARG, Robinson JH (1993). The 1991 Gulf War: Coastal and Marine Environmental Consequences. Mar Pollut Bull 27:3–375

  13. Mulholland GW, Benner BA, Fletcher RA, Steel E, Wise SA, May WE, Madrzykowski D, Evans D (1991) Report of Test, FR 3985—Analysis of smoke samples from oil well fires in Kuwait. The United States Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD 20899

  14. Penner JE (1991) Kuwaiti oil fires. World Meteorological Organization, Global atmosphere Watch. No. 72, Draft Report of the WMO Meeting of Experts on the Atmospheric Part of the Joint UN Response to the Kuwait Oilfield Fires, Geneva, April 27–30, pp 40–43

  15. Readman JW, Fowler SW, Villeneuve JP, Cattini C, Oregioni B, Mee LD (1992) Oil and combustion-product contamination of the Gulf marine environment following the war. Nature 358:662–665

  16. Romeu AV (1986) Biodegradation of Kuwait crude oil in the presence and absence of dispersant Corexit® 9527. PhD Dissertation, Texas A & M University, Austin, TX, pp 27–29

  17. Sadiq M, McCain JC (1993) The Gulf War Aftermath. An Environmental Tragedy. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, Holland, p 13

  18. Shubik P, Hartwell JL (1957) Survey of compounds which have been tested for carcinogenic activity. Publ. No. 149, U.S. Public Health Services, Washington, DC

  19. UNEP (1991) Report on the UN Interagency Plan of Action for the ROPME Region. Phase 1. Initial surveys and preliminary assessment. Prepared by United Nations Environment Programme, Oceans and Coastal Areas Programme Activity Center, Nairobi

  20. Zedeck MS (1980) Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons—A review. J Environ Pathol Toxicol 3:537–545

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to T. Saeed.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Saeed, T., Al-Bloushi, A. & Al-Matrouk, K. Assessment of levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the oil from Kuwait oil lakes. Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 29, 45–51 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00213086

Download citation

Keywords

  • Waste Water
  • PAHs
  • Pyrene
  • Phenanthrene
  • Hazard Potential