JOURNAL ARTICLE

Occurrences, composition profiles and source identifications of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in ship ballast sediments

Peng-Hao Su, Bao-Yi Lv, Gregg T Tomy, Jin-Xiang Xu, Wen Tian, Chun-Yan Hou, Fang Yin, Yi-Fan Li, Dao-Lun Feng
Chemosphere 2017, 168: 1422-1429
27919535
The aim of this study was to investigate the levels of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in ship ballast sediments. The ballast sediment samples were collected from six merchant ships docked in 2015 in Jiangyin City, China. Ballast sediments represent a potential vector for the transport of POPs and invasive species between marine environments. An attempt was also made to determine the sources of these compounds in the ballast sediment. The results indicated ballast sediments generally contain greater amounts of BDE-209 and comparable amounts of PAHs, PBDEs (exclusive of BDE-209) and PCBs compared to those in marine surface sediments. Based on the sediment quality guidelines, PAHs and PCBs in ballast sediments were estimated to have median or high potential of posing ecological risks, respectively, to marine life if ballast sediments were disposed without specific treatment. POPs in ballast sediments were derived from multiple sources with atmospheric deposition being an important origin. Ship activities including diesel exhaust and illegal oil sewage discharge were considerable contributors of certain individual POPs to ballast sediments. Our study is important because it represents the first report on levels, health risk assessment and source apportionments of POPs in ballast sediments and is a first step in the implementation of specific ballast sediment management measures.

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