Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Urban Street Dust and Surface Soil: Comparisons of Concentration, Profile, and Source

  • De-Gao WangEmail author
  • Meng Yang
  • Hong-Liang Jia
  • Lei Zhou
  • Yi-Fan LiEmail author


Street dust and surface soil samples in urban areas of Dalian, a coastal city in Liaoning Province, China, were collected and analyzed for 25 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The concentrations, distribution, and sources of PAHs in dust and soil were determined. The concentrations of total PAHs in street dust ranged between 1890 and 17,070 ng/g (dry weight), with an average of 7460 ng/g, whereas the concentrations of total PAHs in surface soil varied greatly, from 650 to 28,900 ng/g, with a mean value of 6440 ng/g. Statistical paired t-test confirmed that total PAH concentrations have no significant difference between street dust and surface soil. Mean PAH concentrations in two type samples were much higher at industrial sites than at business/residential or garden sites. PAHs were dominated by higher molecular weight PAH (4- to 6-ring) homologues, which accounted for about 73% and 72% of total PAHs in street dust and surface soil, respectively. Principal component analysis was used in source apportionment of PAHs in dust and soil. Pyrogenic and petrogenic sources contributed 70% and 22.4% of total PAHs in street dusts, and fossil fuel (coal and petroleum) and biomass combustion accounted for 64.4% and 5.6% of total PAHs in pyrogenic sources, respectively. In surface soil, total PAHs were dominated by pyrogenic sources. The diagnostic ratios of benz[a]anthracene/chrysene confirmed that PAHs in street dust and surface soil of a Dalian urban zone might come mostly from the emission of local sources.


Dust PAHs Dust Sample Street Dust Total Organic Carbon Content 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was funded by Dalian Maritime University, Teaching and Research Award Program for Outstanding Young Teachers (DLMU-ZL-200704), and Key Laboratory of Marine Spill Oil Identification and Damage Assessment Technology.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Joint Research Center for Persistent Toxic SubstancesDalian Maritime UniversityDalianPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Science and Technology BranchEnvironment CanadaTorontoCanada

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