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Distribution, compositional pattern and sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in urban soils of an industrial city, Lanzhou, China

Jiang, Yufeng, Yves, Uwamungu J., Sun, Hang, Hu, Xuefei, Zhan, Huiying, Wu, Yingqin
Ecotoxicology and environmental safety 2016 v.126 pp. 154-162
petroleum, correlation, risk, urban soils, humans, molecular weight, phenanthrenes, anthracenes, principal component analysis, urban areas, human health, isomers, combustion, coal, emissions, toxicity, biomass, ingestion, breathing, China
The level, distribution, compositional pattern and possible sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Lanzhou urban soil of Northwest China were investigated in this study. The total level of 22 PAHs ranged from 115 to 12,100µgkg−1 and that of 16 priority PAHs from 82.4 to 10,900µgkg−1. Seven carcinogenic PAHs generally accounted for 6.18–57.4% of total 22 PAHs. Compared with data from those reported about urban areas, PAH contamination in Lanzhou urban soils was moderate. Among different functional areas, higher level of PAHs was found along roadsides and in the industrial district (p<0.01), while lower levels were detected in the commercial, park and residential districts. The composition of PAHs was characterized by high molecular weight PAHs (≥4 rings), among which fluoranthene, benz[a]anthracene and phenanthrene were the most dominant components. Correlation analysis suggested that low molecular weight PAHs and high molecular weight PAHs originated from different sources and further corroborated that TOC was an important factor in the accumulation of PAHs in soil. Isomer ratios and principal component analysis indicated that PAHs in urban soil derived primarily from emissions resulting from the combustion of biomass, coal and petroleum products. Toxic equivalent concentrations (BaPeq) of soil PAHs ranged from 6.12 to 1302µgBaPeqkg−1, with a mean of 138µgBaPeqkg−1. The results suggested that human exposure to those soils which polluted by high concentrations of PAHs through direct ingestion or inhalation of suspended soil particles probably poses a significant risk to human health from the carcinogenic effects of PAHs.