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Contamination, source identification, and risk assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in agricultural soil of Shanghai, China

Jiang, YuFeng, Wang, XueTong, Wu, MingHong, Sheng, GuoYing, Fu, JiaMo
Environmental monitoring and assessment 2011 v.183 no.1-4 pp. 139-150
agricultural soils, biomass, carcinogenicity, coal, combustion, islands, isomers, molecular weight, petroleum, pollutants, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, principal component analysis, risk assessment, soil organic carbon, soil properties, soil quality, soil sampling, China, Netherlands
The level, distribution, compositional pattern, and possible sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in agricultural soil of Shanghai were investigated. The concentrations ranged from 140.7 to 2,370.8 μg kg − 1 for 21 PAHs and from 92.2 to 2,062.7 μg kg − 1 for 16 priority PAHs, respectively. The higher level of PAHs was mainly distributed in the south and west of Shanghai region, and the lower concentration was found in Chongming Island. Generally, the composition pattern of PAHs was characterized with high molecular weight PAHs, the seven possible carcinogenic PAHs accounted for 4.8–50.8% of the total PAHs, and fluoranthene, pyrene, and benzo[b]fluoranthene were the most dominant components in soil samples. The correlation analysis suggested that low molecular weight PAHs and high molecular weight PAHs were originated from different sources and further corroborated that total organic carbon was a key soil property affecting the fate of persistent organic pollutants in the environment. The isomer ratios and principal component analysis indicated that PAHs in the investigated areas were derived primarily from combustion of biomass, coal, and petroleum. Compared to the soil quality standards of the Netherlands, all the target PAHs (except Ant) in most samples exceeded their target values. The Nemerow composite index based on the same soil quality standard showed that 69.4% of the soil samples were heavily polluted. The total BaPeq of ten Dutch target PAHs in 72% soil samples were higher than the reference total carcinogenic potency. Therefore, the agricultural soil in Shanghai is suffering from serious PAHs contamination.