Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in surface sediments of Liaodong Bay, Bohai Sea, China

Ningjing Hu, Xuefa Shi, Peng Huang, Jian Mao, Jihua Liu, Ying Liu, Deyi Ma
Environmental Science and Pollution Research International 2011, 18 (2): 163-72

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The levels and possible sources of 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were investigated in the surface sediments of Liaodong Bay, Bohai Sea, China.

RESULTS: The sum of 16 PAHs (∑PAH(16)) concentrations varied from 144.5 to 291.7 ng/g, with a mean value of 184.7 ng/g, indicating low PAH levels compared with reported values for other bays and rivers in China and developed countries. High concentrations of PAHs were observed in the Luan River Estuary and in the vicinity of Qinhuangdao, implying that sewage from the Luan River and shipping activities are important sources of PAHs in Liaodong Bay.

CONCLUSION: An ecological risk assessment of PAHs, based on the effect range-low quotients, indicated that adverse biological effects caused by acenaphthene occasionally may take place in the sediments of Liaodong Bay. PAH source identification suggested that PAHs in most sediments were mainly from incomplete combustion of grass, wood, and coal. At other stations near the Luan River Estuary, both petrogenic and pyrogenic inputs were significant, and the petroleum-derived PAHs were mainly from shipping activities and discharge of pollutants via rivers.

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