DISTRIBUTION OF POLYCYCLIC AROMATIC HYDROCARBONS IN SURFACE SEDIMENTS OF KOH SICHANG ANCHORAGE AREA, THAILAND
The levels and distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were investigated in surface sediments of Koh Sichang anchorage area, Thailand using gas chromatography with flame-ionization detection (GC/FID). The total concentrations of 16 PAHs US EPA priority pollutants varied from 65.2 to 18,970 ng/g dw, with a median concentration of 282±3,660 ng/g dw. The sediment samples were classified as moderately contaminated compared to those observed in other regions. PAH compositional signatures of surface sediments of the study area were dominated by higher molecular weight PAHs (4-6 rings) comprising about 87 per cent of total PAHs concentrations. Dibenzo[a,h]anthracene, benzo[b]fluoranthene, benzo[g,h,i]perylene, benzo[a]pyrene, fluoranthene, indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyrene, and pyrene represented the highest fractions in most surface sediment samples. Source apportionment using diagnostic PAH ratios indicated that composition of PAHs in most sediment samples originated mainly from incomplete combustion of organic matter (pyrolytic origin), with a mixture of pyrolytic and petrogenic PAHs were observed in some of the study sites. The presence of almost all human carcinogenic PAHs in the study area indicated that these sediments can be considered contaminated sites, suggesting that future monitoring programs together with an effective coastal management program must be implemented to ensure health and safety for all.
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