Advertisement

Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 74, Issue 4, pp 3519–3529 | Cite as

Characterization, sources and ecological risk assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in long-term contaminated riverbank sediments

  • G. Patricia JohnstonEmail author
  • David Lineman
  • Carl G Johnston
  • Laura Leff
Original Article

Abstract

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are recalcitrant pollutants common in aquatic ecosystems. Although there is a vast literature on PAH contamination, there is a scarcity of information in long-term contaminated ecosystems. This study is the first detailed characterization of PAHs and their sources from riverbank sediments with a historic legacy of pollution. A total of 27 cores were collected at two highly contaminated locations and at one upstream location where apparently there was no PAH contamination. At each location, three cores were taken at three different depths using stainless steel liners. PAHs were extracted by using a modified sonication method followed by identification and quantification by gas chromatography mass spectrometry. Twelve PAHs were quantified and sources were identified using PAH ratios. High PAH concentrations (94,000–560,000 µg/kg) were detected making this aquatic ecosystem one of the most polluted in the world. Pyrolytic sources of PAHs was indicated by the large relative contribution of four ring compounds, while high levels of low molecular weight PAHs also suggested input from petrogenic sources. Risk quotients assessment overwhelmingly demonstrated that the riverbank sediments of the Mahoning posed a very high ecological risk to aquatic organisms, even at what was previously considered an unpolluted location. These results suggest that there is a great need for implementation of remediation strategy of the riverbanks.

Keywords

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons Riverbank sediments Ecosystem risk Petrogenic Pyrolytic Toxicity 

Notes

Acknowledgments

G. Johnston was supported by the National Science Foundation Integrated Graduate Education and Research Training grant DGE 0904560. This research was funded by the Art and Margaret Herrick Aquatic Ecology Research Facility Student Research Grant at Kent State University, and in part by the Department of Biological Sciences at Youngstown State University. We thank Dr. K. Smemo, Holden Arboretum Cleveland, for his technical assistance and Mr. D. Lisko, Youngstown State University, for field and technical support.

References

  1. Amin I, Jacobs A (2013) A study of the contaminated banks of the Mahoning River, Northeastern Ohio, USA: characterization of the contaminated bank sediments and river water-groundwater interactions. Env Earth Sci 70:3237–3244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Badawy M, Emababy M (2010) Distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in drinking water in Egypt. Desalination 251:34–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baniulyte D, Favila E, Kelly J (2009) Shifts in microbial community composition following surface application of dredged river sediments. Microb Ecol 57:160–169. doi: 10.1007/s00248-008-9410-y CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bathi J, Pitt R, Clark S (2012) Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in urban stream sediments. Adv Civ Eng, Article ID 372395, pp 9Google Scholar
  5. Baumard P, Budzinski H, Garrigues P (1998) Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in sediments and mussels of the western Mediterranean Sea. Environ Toxicol Chem 17:765–776CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bihari N, Fafandel M, Hamer B, Kralj-Bilen B (2006) PAH content, toxicity and genotoxicity of coastal marine sediments from the Rovinj area, Northern Adriatic, Croatia. Sci Total Environ 366:602–611CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cao Z, Liu J, Luan Y, Li Y, Ma M, Xu J, Han S (2010) Distribution and ecosystem risk assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the Luan River, China. Ecotoxicology 19:827–837CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Carter M (2000) Soil sampling and methods of analysis. Canadian society of soil science. Lewis Publishers, FloridaGoogle Scholar
  9. Charriau A, Bodineau L, Ouddane B, Fischer J (2009) Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and n-alkanes in sediments of the Upper Scheldt River Basin: contamination levels and source apportionment. J Environ Monit 11:1086–1093CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chen C, Chen C (2011) Distribution, origin, and potential toxicological significance of poly-cyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in sediments of Kaohsiung Harbor, Taiwan. Mar Pollut Bull 63:417–423CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chen B, Xuan X, Zhu L, Wang J, Gao Y, Yang K, Shen X, Lou B (2004) Distributions of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in surface waters, sediments and soils of Hangzhou City, China. Water Res 38:3558–3568CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chen C, Kao C, Chen C, Dong C (2007) Distribution and accumulation of heavy metals in the sediments of Kaohsiung Harbor, Taiwan. Chemosphere 66:1431–1440CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Chen C, Chen C, Dong C, Tu Y (2012) Composition and source apportionment of PAHs in sediments at river mouths and channel in Kaohsiung Harbor, Taiwan. J Environ Monit 14:105–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Chen C, Chen C, Dong C, Kao C (2013) Assessment of toxicity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in sediments of Kaohsiung Harbor, Taiwan. Sci Total Environ 463–464:1174–1181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Crespo M, Cam D, Gagni S, Lombardi N, Yusty M (2006) Extraction of hydrocarbons from seaweed samples using sonication and microwave-assisted extraction: a comparative study. J Chromat Sci 44:615–618CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Crommentuijn T, Sijm D, Bruijn JD, Vanleeuwen K, Vandeplassche E (2000) Maximum permissible and negligible concentrations for some organic substances and pesticides. J Environ Manag 58:297–312CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. De Luca G, Furesi A, Micera G, Panzanelli A, Costantina P et al (2005) Nature, distribution and origin of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the sediments of Olbia harbor (Northern Sardinia, Italy). Mar Pollut Bull 50:1223–1232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Debruyn J, Mead T, Wilhem S, Sayler G (2009) PAH biodegradative genotypes in Lake Erie sediments: evidence for broad geographical distribution of pyrene-degrading Mycobacteria. Environ Sci Technol 43:3467–3473CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fang M, Hsieh P, Ko F, Baker J, Lee C (2007) Sources and distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the sediments of Kaoping River and submarine canyon system, Taiwan. Mar Pollut Bull 54:1179–1189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Friedman C, Selin N (2012) Long-range atmospheric transport of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons: a global 3-D model analysis including evaluation of Arctic sources. Environ Sci Technol 46:9501–9510CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Genualdi S, Killin R, Woods J, Wilson G, Schmedding D, Massey S (2009) Trans-Pacific and regional atmospheric transport of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and pesticides in biomass burning emissions to western North America. Environ Sci Technol 43:1061–1066CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Grimalt J, Borghini F, Sanchez-Hernandez J, Barra R, Torres C, Focardi S (2004) Temperature dependence of the distribution of organochlorine compounds in the mosses of the Andean Mountains. Environ Sci Technol 38:5386–5392CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Guo W, He M, Yang Z, Lin C, Quan X, Wang H (2007) Distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in water, suspended particular matter and sediment from Daliao River watershed, China. Chemosphere 68:93–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Guo W, He M, Yang Z, Lin C, Quan X, Men B (2009) Distribution, partitioning and sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in Daliao River water system in dry season, China. J Hazard Mater 164:1379–1385CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Husain S (2008) Literature overview: microbial metabolism of high molecular weight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Remediat J 18:131–161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hwang H, Foster G (2006) Characterization of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in urban storm water runoff flowing into the tidal Anacostia River, Washington, DC, USA. Environ Poll 140:416–426CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Johnston GP (2014) Characterization of bacterial communities of riverbank sediments contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (Electronic Doctoral Dissertation). Retrieved from https://etd.ohiolink.edu/
  28. Johnston C, Johnston GP (2012) Bioremediation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. In: Arora R (ed) Microbial biotechnology: energy and environment. United Kingdom, pp 279–296Google Scholar
  29. Johnston GP, Leff L (2015) Bacterial community composition and biogeochemical heterogeneity in PAH-contaminated riverbank sediments. J Soil Sediment 15:225–239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kalf D, Crommentuijn T, Vandeplassche E (1997) Environmental quality objectives for 10 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 36:89–97CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Li G, Xia X, Yang Z, Wang R, Voulvoulis N (2006) Distribution and sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River, China. Environ Pollut 144:985–993CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Li H, Chena J, Wua W, Piao X (2010) Distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in different size fractions of soil from a coke oven plant and its relationship to organic carbon content. J Hazard Mater 176:729–734CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Liu F, Xu Y, Liu J, Liu D, Li J, Zhang G, Li X, Zou S, Lai S (2013) Atmospheric deposition of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) to a coastal site of Hong Kong, South China. Atmos Environ 69:265–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Luo X, Chen S, Mai B, Yang Q, Sheng G, Fu J (2006) Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in suspended particulate matter and sediments from the Pearl River Estuary and adjacent coastal areas, China. Environ Pollut 139:9–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Luo X, Chen S, Mai B, Sheng G, Fu J, Zeng E (2008) Distribution, source apportionment, and transport of PAHs in sediments from the Pearl River Delta and the Northern South China Sea. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 55:11–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Ma Y, Cheng J, Jiao F, Duo K, Ming Z, Wang W (2008) Distribution, sources, and potential risk of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in drinking water resources from Henan Province in middle of China. Environ Monit Assess 146:127–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Mohammadi C, Saify A, Shalikar H (2010) Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) along the Eastern Caspian Sea Coast. Globa J Environ Res 4:59–63Google Scholar
  38. Montuori P, Triassi M (2012) Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons loads into the Mediterranean Sea: estimate of Sarno River inputs. Mar Pollut Bull 64:512–520CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Muri G, Wakeham S (2009) Source assessment and sedimentary record of pyrolytic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in Lake Bled (NW Slovenia). Acta Chim Slov 56:315–321Google Scholar
  40. Neff J, Stout S, Gunstert D (2005) Ecological risk assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in sediments: identifying sources and ecological hazard. Integr Environ Assess Manag 1:22–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Nowell L, Moran P, Gilliom R, Calhoun D, Ingersoll C, Kemble N, Kuivila K, Phillips P (2013) Contaminants in stream sediments from seven United States metropolitan areas: Part I: Distribution in relation to urbanization. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 64:32–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (2013) Division of Surface Water at http://www.epa.state.oh.us/dsw/fishadvisory/index.aspx
  43. Peng R, Xiong A, Xue P, Fu X, Gao F, Zhao W, Tian Y, Yao Q (2008) Microbial biodegradation of polyaromatic hydrocarbons. FEMS Microbiol Rev 32:927–955CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Pies C, Hoffmann P, Petrowsky J, Yang Y, Ternes T, Hofmann T (2008) Characterization and source identification of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in riverbank soils. Chemosphere 72:1594–1601CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Ribeiro J, Silva T, Mendonca J, Flores D (2012) Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in burning and non-burning coal waste piles. J Hazard Mater 199–200:105–110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Sanctorum H, Elskens M, Leermakers M, Gao Y, Charriau A et al (2011) Sources of PCDD/Fs, non-ortho PCBs and PAHs in sediments of high and low impacted transboundary rivers (BelgiumFrance). Chemosphere 85:203–209CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Scott H, Aherne J, Metcalfe C (2012) Fate and transport of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in Upland Irish headwater lake catchments. Sci World J, Article ID 828343, pp 11Google Scholar
  48. Shi Z, Tao S, Pan B, Fan W, He X, Zuo Q, Wu S, Li B et al (2005) Contamination of rivers in Tianjin, China by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Environ Poll 134:97–111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Sun J, Wang G, Chai Y, Zhang G, Li J, Feng J (2009) Distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Henan Reach of the Yellow River, Middle China. Ecotox Environ Safe 72:1614–1624CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) (1999) Mahoning River Environmental Dredging Reconnaissance StudyGoogle Scholar
  51. United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) (2001) Lower Mahoning River, Pennsylvania Environmental Dredging Reconnaissance Study. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District Final ReportGoogle Scholar
  52. United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) (1996) Test Methods for Evaluation of Solid Waste, SW-846, Method 3550C, Ultrasonic ExtractionGoogle Scholar
  53. United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) (2005) Contaminated Sediment Remediation Guidance for Hazardous Waste Sites. EPA-540-R-05e012; Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response OSWER 9355, 0e85Google Scholar
  54. United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) (2007) Test Methods for Evaluation of Solid Waste, SW-846, Method 8270D, Semi volatile organic compounds by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GCMS) Revision 4Google Scholar
  55. Venkatesan M, Merino O, Baek J, Northrup T, Sheng Y, Shisko J (2010) Trace organic contaminants and their sources in surface sediments of Santa Monica Bay, California, USA. Mar Environ Res 69:350–362CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Wang X, Jia Y, Sun Y, Jiang Y, Wang F, Wu M, Sheng G, Fu J (2010) Distribution, possible source and ecological risk assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in river sediments from a typical contaminated area. Europe PubMed Central http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/20329532
  57. Wang H, Cheng C, Lin Y, Chen K (2012) Emission reductions of air pollutants from a heavy-duty diesel engine mixed with various amounts of H2/O2. Aerosol Air Qual Res 12:133–140Google Scholar
  58. Witt G, Grundler P (2005) The consequences of the Oder flood in 1997 on the distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the Oder River. Acta Hydrochim Hydrobiol 33:301–314CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Xu J, Yu Y, Wang P, Guo W, Dai S, Sun H (2007) Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the surface sediments from Yellow River, China. Chemosphere 67:1408–1414CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Yunker M, Macdonald R, Vingarzan R, Mitchell R, Goyette D, Sylvestre S (2002) PAHs in the Fraser River basin: a critical appraisal of PAH ratios as indicators of PAH source and composition. Org Geochem 33:489–515CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Zeng F, Cui KY, Xie ZY, Liu M, Li YJ, Zen ZX, Li F (2008) Occurrence of phthalate esters in water and sediment of urban lakes in a subtropical city, Guangzhou, South China. Environ Int 34:372–380CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Zeng S, Zeng L, Dong X, Chen J (2013) Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in river sediments from the western and southern catchments of the Bohai Sea, China: toxicity assessment and source identification. Environ Monit Assess 185:4291–4303CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Zhang X, Tao S, Liu W, Yang Y, Zuo Q, Liu S (2005) Source diagnostics of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons based on species ratios: a multimedia approach. Environ Sci Technol 39:9109–9114CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Patricia Johnston
    • 1
    Email author
  • David Lineman
    • 2
  • Carl G Johnston
    • 3
  • Laura Leff
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesKent State UniversityKentUSA
  2. 2.Hickory High SchoolHermitageUSA
  3. 3.Department of Biological SciencesYoungstown State UniversityYoungstownUSA

Personalised recommendations