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

  • T. Saeed
  • A. Al-Bloushi
  • K. Al-Matrouk
Article

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.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Arab Times (Local Newspaper), November 8, (1992), p 5Google Scholar
  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 9–13Google Scholar
  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. KISR4176Google Scholar
  4. Al-Sulaimi J, Vishwanathan MN, and Szekely F (1993) Effect of oil pollution on fresh groundwater in Kuwait. Environ Geol 22:246–256Google Scholar
  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)Google Scholar
  6. EPC (1991) State of the Environment Report. A case study of the crimes against the environment. Environment Protection Council, Kuwait, pp 1–49Google Scholar
  7. Greenpeace (1992) Environmental legacy of the Gulf War. Greenpeace Report, pp 6–41Google Scholar
  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 1–477Google Scholar
  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 353:617–621CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Khordagui H (1991) Comments on current environmental events in Kuwait. Environ Manag 15:455–459Google Scholar
  11. Literathy P (1992) Environmental consequences of the Gulf War in Kuwait. Impact on water resources. Water Sci Technol 26:21–30Google Scholar
  12. Price ARG, Robinson JH (1993). The 1991 Gulf War: Coastal and Marine Environmental Consequences. Mar Pollut Bull 27:3–375Google Scholar
  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 20899Google Scholar
  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 40–43Google Scholar
  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 358:662–665Google Scholar
  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 27–29Google Scholar
  17. Sadiq M, McCain JC (1993) The Gulf War Aftermath. An Environmental Tragedy. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, Holland, p 13Google Scholar
  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, DCGoogle Scholar
  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, NairobiGoogle Scholar
  20. Zedeck MS (1980) Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons—A review. J Environ Pathol Toxicol 3:537–545Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Saeed
    • 1
  • A. Al-Bloushi
    • 1
  • K. Al-Matrouk
    • 1
  1. 1.Environmental Sciences DepartmentKuwait Institute for Scientific ResearchSafatKuwait

Personalised recommendations