Distribution, source, and ecological risk assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in surface sediments from the Hun River, northeast China

Zhiyang Liu, Lixiong He, Yingzhuan Lu, Jiao Su, Han Song, Xiangying Zeng, Zhiqiang Yu
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 2015, 187 (5): 290
In this study, the occurrence and distribution of 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), listed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), were investigated in surface sediment samples from the Hun River, northeast China. The data was then used to assess the potential ecological risk. The results indicated 15 PAHs were detected in these sediments, and the total concentrations of the 15 PAHs (not including naphthalene) ranged from 82.96 to 39,292.95 ng g(-1) dry weight (dw), with an average value of 3705.54 ng g(-1) dw, and 4-ring PAHs were the dominant compounds at most sites. The diagnostic parameters such as anthracene/(anthracene + phenanthrene), fluoranthene/(fluoranthene + pyrene), and indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyrene/(indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyrene + benzo[g,h,i]perylene) showed that they had been emitted from a number of different sources, especially the pyrolytic emissions. The results of the ecological risk assessment, which compared the PAH concentrations with the effect range low (ERL) and the effect range median (ERM) values, indicated that several individual PAH concentrations at four sites in the downstream section of the Hun River were higher than the ERM, suggesting that there was a potential ecological risk in these areas.

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