Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are ubiquitous organic pollutants in urban environments and are considered as the priority pollutants. The main objectives of this study were (1) to assess the contamination extent of 16 PAHs compounds in urban street dust and (2) to identify the anthropogenic sources of contamination. Forty-nine samples were analysed for 16 PAHs by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Results showed that total PAHs concentrations varied from 2174 to 24,499 ng/g with an average value of 6616 ng/g. Total PAHs concentrations showed a significant correlation with the total organic carbon (TOC) content (r = 0.599, p < 0.0001), suggesting likely that TOC can influence the distribution of PAHs in Xuzhou street dust. Source identification indices suggested that the primary source of PAHs was automobile exhausts. A factor analysis was performed, and three factors were extracted from the available dataset, explaining a total variance of approximately 84.7%. Results from the factor analysis could be indicative of PAHs with different origins.
Environmental Earth Sciences – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 22, 2017
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