Source identification of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in sediment samples from the northern part of the Persian Gulf, Iran

Roozbeh Mirza, Mehdi Mohammadi, Iraj Faghiri, Ehsan Abedi, Ali Fakhri, Ali Azimi, Mohammad Ali Zahed
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 2014, 186 (11): 7387-98
Samples of surface sediments from the Iranian coast of the Persian Gulf were examined to determine the levels and sources of 15 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Samples were collected from 30 sampling sites and analyzed for PAHs by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Total concentrations of PAHs ranged from 93 to 4,077 ng g(-1) dry weight. The PAH composition from 30 sampling sites was dominated by four-ring PAH compounds. Molecular indices based on the ratios of PAH concentrations were used to differentiate PAHs from pyrolitic to petrogenic and mixed origins. The results suggested that the main sources of PAHs in sediments from the studied region were mixed pyrolitic and petrogenic. Furthermore, benthic organisms in most of the investigated areas were not at ecotoxicological risk, according to the results from the effects range low (ERL)/effects range median (ERM) techniques suggested by the US Sediment Quality Guidelines (SQGs).

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