Distributions, Compositions, and Ecological Risk Assessment of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Phthalic Acid Esters in Surface Sediment of Songhua River, China

Mar Pollut Bull. 2020 Mar;152:110923. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2020.110923. Epub 2020 Feb 17.


The distribution, composition, and ecological risk of 16 types of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and 6 types of phthalic acid esters (PAEs) in the surface sediment of Songhua river, northeast China, were investigated. The total weight of the PAHs (∑16PAHs) varied from 226.70 to 7086.62 ng/g dry weight (dw), whereas that of the PAEs (∑6PAEs) ranged from 819.44 to 24,035.39 ng/g dw. The dominant PAHs were four-membered ring PAHs, which varied from 18.65% to 78.10% of the total PAHs. The most abundant PAEs was di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate ester (DEHP), which accounted for 65.02-99.07% of the total PAEs, followed by di-n-butyl phthalate ranging from 1.50 to 55.43%. Pyrolytic origin was the dominant PAH source. Approximately 12.70% target PAHs in the Songhua river sediment exhibited moderate ecological risk with 23.49-1404.09 ng/g carcinogenic toxicity equivalent. DEHP in 80.95% of the sediment samples exceeded the effects range low, indicating its potential harmfulness to the aquatic environment.

Keywords: Composition; Distribution; Ecological risk assessment; Phthalic acid esters (PAEs); Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs); Surface sediment.