The Distribution and Sources of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Surface Sediments Along the Egyptian Mediterranean Coast

Environmental Division, National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, Kayet Bay, Alexandria, Egypt.
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment (Impact Factor: 1.68). 02/2007; 124(1-3):343-59. DOI: 10.1007/s10661-006-9231-8
Source: PubMed


Coastal marine sediment samples were collected from 31 sampling stations along the Egyptian Mediterranean Sea coast. All sediment samples were analyzed to determine aliphatic and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) as well as total organic carbon (TOC) contents and grain size analysis. Total concentrations of 16 EPA-PAHs in the sediments were varied from 88 to 6338 ng g(-1) with an average value of 154 ng g(-1) (dry weight). However, the concentrations of total aliphatic were varied from 1.3 to 69.9 ng g(-1) with an average value of 15.6 ng g(-1) (dry weight). The highest contents of PAHs were found in the Eastern harbor (6338 ng g(-1)), Manzala (5206 ng g(-1)) and El-Jamil East (4895 ng g(-1)) locations. Good correlations observed between a certain numbers of PAH concentrations allowed to identify its origin. The average total organic carbon (TOC) percent was varied from 0.91 to 4.54%. Higher concentration of total pyrolytic hydrocarbons ( summation operatorCOMB) than total fossil hydrocarbons ( summation operatorPHE) declared that atmospheric fall-out is the significant source of PAHs to marine sediments of the Egyptian Mediterranean coast. The selected marked compounds, a principal component analysis (PCA) and special PAHs compound ratios (phenanthrene/anthracene vs fluoranthene/pyrene; summation operatorCOMB/ summation operatorEPA-PAHs) suggest the pyrogenic origins, especially traffic exhausts, are the dominant sources of PAHs in most locations. Interferences of rather petrogenic and pyrolytic PAH contaminations were noticed in the harbors due to petroleum products deliveries and fuel combustion emissions from the ships staying alongside the quays.

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    • "In Europe, PAH concentrations into the sediment can reach up to 50 μg.g −1 dry weight (dw) in an area relatively contaminated (Baumard et al. 1999; Benlahcen et al. 1997; Cachot et al. 2006; El Nemr et al. 2007). Sediments are therefore recognized to be a major source of contamination, causing a threat to organisms for which they are habitat and a food source (Ahlf et al. 2002; Wölz et al. 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Due to hydrophobic and persistent properties, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have a high capacity to accumulate in sediment. Sediment quality criteria, for the assessment of habitat quality and risk for aquatic life, include understanding the fate and effects of PAHs. In the context of European regulation (REACH and Water Framework Directive), the first objective was to assess the influence of sediment composition on the toxicity of two model PAHs, benzo[a]pyrene and fluoranthene using 10-day zebrafish embryo-larval assay. This procedure was undertaken with an artificial sediment in order to limit natural sediment variability. A suitable sediment composition might be then validated for zebrafish and proposed in a new OECD guideline for chemicals testing. Second, a comparative study of toxicity responses from this exposure protocol was then performed using another OECD species, the Japanese medaka. The potential toxicity of both PAHs was assessed through lethal (e.g., survival, hatching success) and sublethal endpoints (e.g., abnormalities, PMR, and EROD) measured at different developmental stages, adapted to the embryonic development time of both species. Regarding effects observed for both species, a suitable artificial sediment composition for PAH toxicity testing was set at 92.5 % dry weight (dw) silica of 0.2–0.5-mm grain size, 5 % dw kaolin clay without organic matter for zebrafish, and 2.5 % dw blond peat in more only for Japanese medaka. PAH bioavailability and toxicity were highly dependent on the fraction of organic matter in sediment and of the K ow coefficients of the tested compounds. The biological responses observed were also dependent of the species under consideration. Japanese medaka embryos appeared more robust than zebrafish embryos for understanding the toxicity of PAHs following a sediment contact test, due to the longer exposure duration and lower sensitivity of sediment physical properties.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Environmental Science and Pollution Research
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    • "Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a large group of organic pollutants that consist of two or more fused aromatic rings and may stimulate adverse effects in human beings and other organisms. PAHs generally possess high chemical stability and hydrophobic properties, which result in enhanced accumulation and a high capacity for distribution in the environment (Ahmed et al. 2007). Many individual PAHs are genotoxic (White et al. 1998) and may cause mutations and certain types of cancer (Dragan et al. 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: Thirty-one surface soil samples were collected from Liaohe estuarine wetland in October 2008 and May and August 2009. The concentrations of 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), identified as priority pollutants by the US EPA, were measured by gas chromatography. PAHs were predominated by three- and four-ring compounds. The total PAH concentrations ranged from 704.7 to 1,804.5 μg/kg with a mean value of 1,001.9 μg/kg in October 2008, from 509.7 to 1,936.9 μg/kg with an average of 887.1 μg/kg in May 2009, and from 293.4 to 1,735.9 μg/kg with a mean value of 675.4 μg/kg in August 2009. The PAH concentration detected at most sites shared the same pattern, with maximum concentrations during the autumn (October) and minimum concentrations during the summer (August). The ecological risk assessment of PAHs showed that adverse effects would occasionally occur in the soils from Liaohe estuarine wetland based on the effects range low (ERL)/effects range median and the toxic equivalency factors. The results revealed that some of the individual PAHs were in excess of ERL which implied possible acute adverse biological effects. The BaP(eq) values in some sites surpassed the Dutch target value. Therewith, quite a part of soils in the wetland were subjected to potential ecological risks.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2011 · Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
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    • "In order to make a further identification of the source of PAHs, the concentration dataset of PAH in surface sediments was analyzed by principal component analyses (PCA) with multiple linear regression analysis (MLR). PCA–MLR model is one of the useful receptor models which has been used widely to study the sources for PAH samples in sediments (Ahmed, et al., 2007; Guo et al., 2007; Sofowote et al., 2008; Stout and Graan, 2010; Wang et al., 2010). Sofowote et al. (2008) "
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    ABSTRACT: Sixteen PAHs in surface sediments at 28 sites throughout Fenhe reservoir and watershed were measured. The ∑PAHs concentrations ranged from 539.0 to 6281.7 with the mean of 2214.8ng/g. The 2-3 rings PAHs, contributing 55 percent to ∑PAHs, were the dominant species. Twenty-eight sites were grouped into three segments: Fenhe principal stream, estuaries of main branch streams, and Fenhe reservoir. ∑PAHs was highest in the estuaries of main branch streams. The ecological risk assessment was studied by biological thresholds. The results showed levels of PAHs might cause mild but not acute adverse biological effects. In addition, PAHs ratios, PCA/MLR and hierarchical clustering analysis were applied to evaluate the possible sources. Coal combustion (35 percent), diesel and gasoline emissions (29 percent and 16 percent, respectively) might be the important sources. For sites in Fenhe reservoir, the major sources were complex, while other two segments were mainly influenced by coal combustion source.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2011 · Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety
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