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Distribution Characteristics and Risk Assessment of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Soils of a Steel Enterprise in East China


To meet the goal of sustainable development, many large steel enterprises in China have been relocated, leaving serious polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) pollution problems at the abandoned sites. In this study, the spatial distribution and potential health risks of PAHs in soils of a large steel enterprise in East China were studied. The total concentrations of 16 PAHs ranged from 93.96 to2.61E + 05 μg/kg. A total of 54.84% of the samples reached the level of severe pollution, with coking plants and iron works showing much more serious problems than other areas. The contribution levels of PAHs with high molecular weights were high, especially those of 4-ring PAHs. The toxic equivalent concentrations exceeded the values recommended by the Canadian guide. The average carcinogenic risk value of the whole region was greater than 10–6, indicating high carcinogenic risk. The above assessment indicates that the area must be remediated before further development occurs.

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This study was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2018YFF0213404), the Major Basic Research Projects of the Shandong Natural Science Foundation, China (ZR2018ZC2362), the Shandong Province Key Research and Development Project (2019GSF109097), and the National Science Foundation of China (42007112).

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Conceptualization: Meng Xie; Formal analysis and investigation: Meng Xie; Writing—original draft preparation: Meng Xie; Methodology: Shouwen Zhang; Resources: Shouwen Zhang; Funding acquisition: Zhaojie Cui; Supervision: Zhaojie Cui; Writing—review and editing: Xiufeng Cao.

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Correspondence to Zhaojie Cui or Xiufeng Cao.

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Xie, M., Zhang, S., Cui, Z. et al. Distribution Characteristics and Risk Assessment of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Soils of a Steel Enterprise in East China. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 106, 873–877 (2021).

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  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Steel enterprise
  • Soil pollution
  • Toxic equivalent concentration
  • Risk assessment