Levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in some agricultural, industrial and urban areas along Xiamen coastal waters, China

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Journal Article
Journal of Environmental Sciences, 2006, 18 (2), pp. 318 - 322
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An intensive investigation was conducted to study the distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), to show firstly the level of pollution in the agricultural areas and analyses specifically the status of soil polluted by these persistent pollutants in some locations of Xiamen region. Soil samples collected from Jiulong agricultural catchment have been analysed for 16 PAH compounds, using gas chromatography flame ionization detection in order to determine the level of selected PAH components and to identify the factors that may control their distribution and persistence in the area. The main PAHs found in soil samples were the low molecular weight. The total PAHs detected in soil samples ranged from 0.50 to 0.95μg/g soil. The highest values of PAHs were significantly detected in the orange tree leaves, which range from 236.1 to 249.3 μg/g soil showing recent atmospheric inputs of these volatile pollutants. The distribution of PAHs in vegetable were monitored and indicating that the concentration were high and ranged from 8.24 to 58.87 μg/g. Other sediment samples were also collected and analysed from urban sewage (5.26 μg/g dw), aquacultura (0.52 μg/g dw) and industrial areas (from 0.62 to 2.09 μg/g dw), during this investigation. The contamination of Jiulong river estuary and Xiamen Western Sea by PAHs has been then widely justified by wastewater discharges and soil runoffs from these areas. The results, therefore, provide important information on the current contamination status caused by the atmospheric transport and point to the need for urgent actions to stop the release of these hydrocarbons to the environment. The necessity of implementing systematic monitoring of PAHs is also emphasized. © 2006 Science Press. All rights reserved.
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