Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 22, Issue 13, pp 9658–9667 | Cite as

Levels, potential sources and human health risk of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in particulate matter (PM10) in Kumasi, Ghana

  • Nesta Bortey-Sam
  • Yoshinori Ikenaka
  • Osei Akoto
  • Shouta M. M. Nakayama
  • Yared Beyene Yohannes
  • Elvis Baidoo
  • Hazuki Mizukawa
  • Mayumi Ishizuka
Research Article


Airborne particulate samples were collected on quartz filters to determine the concentrations, sources and health risks of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in air in Kumasi, Ghana. A total of 32 air samples were collected in Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) campus (pristine site) and city centre (CC). Samples were extracted with 1:2 v/v acetone/hexane mixture prior to GC–MS analyses. The sum of concentrations of 17 PAHs in air ranged from 0.51 to 16 (KNUST) and 19–38 ng/m3 (CC). The concentration of benzo[a]pyrene, BaP, ranged from below detection limit to 0.08 ng/m3 (KNUST) and 1.6 to 5.6 ng/m3 (CC). Chemical mass balance model showed that PAHs in air in Kumasi were mainly from fuel combustion. The total BaP equivalent concentration (BaPeq) in CC was 18 times higher compared to KNUST; based on the European Legislation and Swedish and UK Standards for BaP in air, CC could be classified as highly polluted. Estimated carcinogenicity of PAHs in terms of BaPeq indicated that BaP was the principal PAH contributor in CC (70 %). Health risk to adults and children associated with PAH inhalation was assessed by taking into account the lifetime average daily dose and corresponding incremental lifetime cancer risk (ILCR). The ILCR was within the acceptable range (10−6 to 10−4), indicating low health risk to residents.


Airborne particulate PAHs Kumasi BaP toxic equivalent Incremental lifetime cancer risk Chemical mass balance 



This study was supported by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan awarded to M. Ishizuka and Y. Ikenaka as well as the Research Fellowship from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science grant-in-aid awarded to S. Nakayama and the foundation of JSPS Core to Core Program (AA Science Platforms).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nesta Bortey-Sam
    • 1
  • Yoshinori Ikenaka
    • 1
  • Osei Akoto
    • 2
  • Shouta M. M. Nakayama
    • 1
  • Yared Beyene Yohannes
    • 1
  • Elvis Baidoo
    • 2
  • Hazuki Mizukawa
    • 1
  • Mayumi Ishizuka
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Toxicology, Department of Environmental Veterinary Sciences, Graduate School of Veterinary MedicineHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryKwame Nkrumah University of Science and TechnologyKumasiGhana

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