Chlorinated and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in riverine and estuarine sediments from Pearl River Delta, China

Bi-Xian Mai, Jia-Mo Fu, Guo-Ying Sheng, Yue-Hui Kang, Zheng Lin, Gan Zhang, Yu-Shuan Min, Eddy Y Zeng
Environmental Pollution 2002, 117 (3): 457-74
Spatial distribution of chlorinated hydrocarbons [chlorinated pesticides (CPs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)] and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) was measured in riverine and estuarine sediment samples from Pearl River Delta, China, collected in 1997. Concentrations of CPs of the riverine sediment samples range from 12 to 158 ng/g, dry weight, while those of PCBs range from 11 to 486 ng/g. The CPs concentrations of the estuarine sediment samples are in the range 6-1658 ng/g, while concentrations of PCBs are in the range 10-339 ng/g. Total PAH concentration ranges from 1168 to 21,329 ng/g in the riverine sediment samples, whereas the PAH concentration ranges from 323 to 14,812 ng/g in the sediment samples of the Estuary. Sediment samples of the Zhujiang River and Macao harbor around the Estuary show the highest concentrations of CPs, PCBs, and PAHs. Possible factors affecting the distribution patterns are also discussed based on the usage history of the chemicals, hydrologic condition, and land erosion due to urbanization processes. The composition of PAHs is investigated and used to assess petrogenic, combustion and naturally derived PAHs of the sediment samples of the Pearl River Delta. In addition, the concentrations of a number of organic compounds of the Pearl River Delta samples indicate that sediments of the Zhujiang river and Macao harbor are most likely to pose biological impairment.

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