Radiological hazards of Narghile (hookah, shisha, goza) smoking: activity concentrations and dose assessment

National Center for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Control, Atomic Energy Authority, Cairo, Egypt.
Journal of Environmental Radioactivity (Impact Factor: 2.48). 10/2008; 99(12):1808-14. DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2008.07.005
Source: PubMed


Narghile (hookah, shisha, goza, "water-pipe") smoking has become fashionable worldwide. Its tobacco pastes, known as moassel and jurak, are not standardized and generally contain about 30-50% (sometimes more) tobacco, molasses/juice of sugarcane, various spices and dried fruits (particularly in jurak) and, in the case of moassel, glycerol and flavoring essences. Tobacco contains minute amounts of radiotoxic elements such as (210)Pb, (210)Po and uranium, which are inhaled via smoking. Only very few data have been published on the concentrations of natural radionuclides in narghile tobacco mixtures. Consequently, the aim of this study was to draw first conclusions on the potential hazards of radioactivity in moassel tobacco in relation to narghile smoking. The results indicate the existence of a wide range in the radioactivity contents where the average (range) activity concentrations of (238)U, (234)Th (226)Ra, (210)Pb, (210)Po, (232)Th and (40)K, in Bq/kg dry weight were 55 (19-93), 11 (3-23), 3 (1.2-8), 14 (3-29), 13 (7-32), 7 (4-10) and 719 (437-1044)Bq/kg dry weight, respectively. The average concentrations of natural radionuclides in moassel tobacco pastes are comparable to their concentration in Greek cigarettes and tobacco leaves, and lower than that of Brazilian tobacco leaves. The distribution pattern of these radionuclides after smoking, between smoke, ash and filter, is unknown, except for (210)Po during cigarette smoking and from one existing study during moassel smoking. Radiological dose assessment due to intake of natural radionuclides was calculated and the possible radio-toxicity of the measured radionuclides is briefly discussed.

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Available from: Kamal Chaouachi, Jun 29, 2014
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    • "Furthermore, the same dismissed Saudi study shows that most of the remaining toxic chemicals (including heavy metals as the present study shows) come from the charcoal used to heat moassel, not the latter itself as the WHO report suggested (Chaouachi, 2009; El-Aasar et al., 1991). Finally, to close this necessary introduction about health aspects and the need for clearing up the related global confusion, it is noteworthy that the authors of the present study have also analysed such rare aspects of tobacco use as radioactivity in the smoking mixtures used for shisha smoking (Khater et al., 2008). "

    Full-text · Dataset · Nov 2015
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    • "Several radioactive elements were detected in the WP tobacco such as Uranium (238U), Thorium (234Th and 232Th), Polonium (210Po), Radium (226Ra), Lead (210 Pb), and Potassium (40K) [44]. About 69% of 210Po present in moassel will be present in water pipe MSS [44]. Data about availability of other radioactive elements in WP smoke are not currently available. "
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