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Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in water and sediment of Hoor Al-Azim wetland, Iran: a focus on source apportionment, environmental risk assessment, and sediment-water partitioning

Sheikh Fakhradini, Sara, Moore, Farid, Keshavarzi, Behnam, Lahijanzadeh, Ahmadreza
Environmental monitoring and assessment 2019 v.191 no.4 pp. 233
anthracenes, biomass, cluster analysis, combustion, environmental assessment, fishing boats, fossil fuels, freshwater, guidelines, oils, pollution, regression analysis, risk, risk assessment, sediments, wetlands, Iran
The concentration, source, and ecological risk of 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in water and sediment samples in Hoor Al-Azim wetland, a significant freshwater wetland in Lower Mesopotamia, were evaluated. Total PAHs concentrations varied from 15.3 to 160.15 ng/L, and 15.78 to 410.2 μg/Kg in water and sediment, respectively. PAHs pollution levels in sediments compared with sediment quality guidelines (SQG) were found to be moderate in two stations and low in water and the rest of sediment stations. Based on the diagnostic ratio analysis, cluster analysis (CA), and principal component analysis-multiple linear regression (PCA-MLR), the mean percentage contributions were 62.62% for mixed pyrogenic and petrogenic sources (e.g., unburned and combusted fossil fuels from fishing boats and vehicle engines, incomplete combustion, oil leakage), 20.68% for auto emission, and 16.7% for pyrogenic sources (fossil fuels and biomass combustion). According to the sediment risk assessment indices such as mean effects range-median quotient (M-ERM-Q), the ecological risk of multiple PAHs was low. Risk quotient (RQ) calculation of water samples suggested high ecological risk level for Benzo[a]anthracene (BaA), and low to moderate for other individual PAHs and ΣPAHs. The result of PAHs partitioning between sediment and water phases revealed that most PAHs prefer to accumulate in sediment. Sediments probably act as a secondary source for some PAHs in the oil collection and pumping station.