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Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in a large South American industrial coastal area (Santos Estuary, Southeastern Brazil): Sources and depositional history

Martins, César C., Bícego, Márcia C., Mahiques, Michel M., Figueira, Rubens C.L., Tessler, Moyses G., Montone, Rosalinda C.
Marine pollution bulletin 2011 v.63 no.5-12 pp. 452-458
biomass, coal, coasts, combustion, estuaries, industrial effluents, industrialization, oils, pollution control, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, sediments, sewage, urban population, urbanization, waste disposal, water pollution, Brazil
Located in southeastern Brazil, the Santos Estuary has the most important industrial and urban population area of South America. Since the 1950’s, increased urbanization and industrialization near the estuary margins has caused the degradation of mangroves and has increased the discharge of sewage and industrial effluents. The main objectives of this work were to determine the concentrations and sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in sediment cores in order to investigate the input of these substances in the last 50years. The PAHs analyses indicated multiple sources of these compounds (oil and pyrolitic origin), basically anthropogenic contributions from biomass, coal and fossil fuels combustion. The distribution of PAHs in the cores was associated with the formation and development of Cubatão industrial complex and the Santos harbour, waste disposal, world oil crisis and the pollution control program, which results in the decrease of organic pollutants input in this area.