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Book probes environmental impact of crude oil-based pollutants


ImpactA team of international scientists led by a Nigerian scientist, Dr. Chimezie Anyakora, a pharmaceutical chemist at University of Lagos, have probed the environmental impact of crude oil based pollutants, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

PAHs are a group of organic contaminants that form from the incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons, such as crude oil, petroleum products, coal and gasoline.

PAHs are an environmental concern because they are toxic to aquatic life and because several are suspected human carcinogens. The result of the probe was compiled in a book titled “Environmental Impact of Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons.”

Anyakora who is also the Editor of the 20-Chapter Book has been intensively involved in research on PAHs for many years. He said the new Book published in 2015 by Feathers and Ink Agodi Ibadan, Oyo State, is a revised edition of the first 14-Chapter published in 2007.

According to the Book, “contamination of the environment by PAHs is becoming a rising environmental concern. Since the implication of these compounds as cancer causing agents several years ago, there has been a renewed interest in them. Many regulatory bodies have continually pushed for tighter legislature on PAHs.

“Hundreds of research papers have focused on this subject. In these papers the angle of focus varies. Some focused on the impact on the environment in general, some focused on carcinogenesis, carcinogenicity and toxicity of these compounds.

Others focused on the analytical methodologies. All these papers have contributed a lot to deeper understanding of the nature and importance of PAHs.”

Anyakora who was part of the international transition team for the Africa University of Science and Technology, Abuja, in a Preface to the Book wrote: “Eight years after the first edition of this book, it has become necessary to revise it.

A few more chapters have been added and some updates on the chapter that require it. Mostly the chapters have been the same as the first edition due to their perennial relevance.

“The importance of PAHs has continually grown over the years making this book still timely. Many regulatory bodies have continued to push for tighter legislature on PAHs.

Hundreds of research papers have been published on this subject. In these papers the angle of focus varies. Some focused on the impact on the environment in general, some on the carcinogenesis, carcinogenicity and toxicity of these compounds, and others on the analytical methodologies.

All these papers have contributed a lot to deeper understanding of the nature and importance of PAHs. “This book is aimed at researchers, scientists, environmental regulators and to some extent the general public.

It is made up of twenty chapters spread over three scenarios: general properties of PAHs, health impact of PAHs and the analytical methods for the determination of PAHs.

“Many contributors participated in this work making it a comprehensive book on PAHs. The chapters were contributed by those who have great expertise in the aspect of PAHs they contributed on. Every contributor combined existing body of knowledge in the field with practical research findings.

“This book is certainly not exhaustive but all the chapters were written with sufficient relevant and recent references to help both advanced and intermediate audience get deeper insight in the subject.

Throughout the book, Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons are used interchangeably allowing for different authors’ preferences.

Though more recent literature use the term Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons more, the two nomenclatures portray the same concept.

“Over these years of my research on PAHs, a number of people have played outstanding and prominent role, among them are Professor Herbert Coker of University of Lagos, Dr. Anthony Ogbeche of University of Lagos andProfessor Pete Palmer of San Francisco State University.

I thank very much Professor Vincent Anigbogu, formerly at Clarke Atlanta University and Professor Hilary Inyang of University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Dr. Cornelius Uboh of University of Pennsylvania gave some useful insight for the book. I am very grateful to Professor Terry Collins of Carnegie Mellon University for his mentorship and encouragement.

“I also wish to express my gratitude to some other scientists at the University of Lagos who are also seriously engaged in PAHs research namely Dr. Kehinde Olayinka and Prof. Babajide Alo, and so many colleagues and students with whom I have discussed this project.”

Anyakora was once visiting fellow at San Francisco State University and a research fellow at ExxonMobil Nigeria. He is a member of the academic board of Enville Environmental Institute and is also on the editorial board of many international journals across the world.

Anyakora also consults for the Global Health Impact Program of the United States Pharmacopeia and the USAID funded Promoting the Quality of Medicines program.

He is the founder of the Center for Applied Research on Separation Science. He is a board member of the African Membrane Society. He is member of the governing council of the Institute for Industrial Technology…

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