Ancient water bottle use and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) exposure among California Indians: a prehistoric health risk assessment
OPEN Environmental health : a global access science source | 24 Jun 2017
SB Sholts, K Smith, C Wallin, TM Ahmed and SKTS Wärmländer
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are the main toxic compounds in natural bitumen, a fossil material used by modern and ancient societies around the world. The adverse health effects of PAHs on modern humans are well established, but their health impacts on past populations are unclear. It has previously been suggested that a prehistoric health decline among the native people living on the California Channel Islands may have been related to PAH exposure. Here, we assess the potential health risks of PAH exposure from the use and manufacture of bitumen-coated water bottles by ancient California Indian societies.
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