Ecological risk assessment of arsenic and metals in sediments of coastal areas of northern Bohai and Yellow Seas, China
First Online: 13 July 2010 Received: 01 April 2010 Accepted: 21 June 2010 DOI:
10.1007/s13280-010-0077-5 Cite this article as: Luo, W., Lu, Y., Wang, T. et al. AMBIO (2010) 39: 367. doi:10.1007/s13280-010-0077-5 Abstract
Distributions of arsenic and metals in surface sediments collected from the coastal and estuarine areas of the northern Bohai and Yellow Seas, China, were investigated. An ecological risk assessment of arsenic and metals in the sediments was evaluated by three approaches: the Sediment Quality Guidelines (SQGs) of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), the degree of contamination, and two sets of SQGs indices. Sediments from the estuaries of the Wuli and Yalu Rivers contained some of the greatest concentrations of arsenic, cadmium, copper, mercury, lead, and zinc. Median concentrations of cadmium and mean concentrations of lead and zinc were greater than background concentrations determined for the areas. All sediments were considered to be heavily polluted by arsenic, but moderately polluted by chromium, lead, and cadmium. Current concentrations of arsenic and metals are unlikely to be acutely toxic, but chronic exposures would be expected to cause adverse effects on benthic invertebrates at 31.4% of the sites.
Keywords Arsenic and metals Sediments Contamination Ecological risk assessment References
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