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Environ Monit Assess. 2013 Apr;185(4):3163-71. doi: 10.1007/s10661-012-2780-0. Epub 2012 Jul 22.

Distribution characteristics of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in sediments and biota from the Zha Long Wetland, China.

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State Key Laboratory of Urban Water Resource and Environment, School of Municipal & Environmental Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150090, China.


In this paper, the concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were measured in biota (reed, grass, mussel, fish, and red-crowned crane) and sediments collected from seven locations in the Zha Long Wetland. PAHs were recovered from the sediments and biota by ultrasonic extraction and then analyzed by means of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The total PAH concentrations were 244-713 ng/g dw in sediments, 82.8-415 ng/g dw in plants and 207-4,780 ng/g dw in animals. The total sediment PAH concentrations were categorized as lower to moderate contamination compared with other regions of China and the world. In the plant samples, the accumulation abilities of reed roots and stems for PAHs were higher than those of grass roots. In addition, the concentration of individual PAHs in mussel muscles was the highest in all of the animal samples, followed by fish, feeding crane fetuses, and wild crane fetuses. Compositional analysis suggests that the PAHs in the sediments from the Zha Long Wetland were derived from incomplete biomass combustion. Risk assessment shows that the levels of PAHs in sediments are mostly lower than the effects range mean value (effects range mean), whereas only naphthalene in all sample sites was higher than the effects range low value. It is worthwhile to note that benzo(b)fluoranthene, benzo(k)fluoranthene, indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene and benzo(ghi)perylene were detected in crane fetal, which have potential carcinogenicity for organisms from the Zha Long Wetland.

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