Pollution and Risk of PAHs in Surface Sediments from the Tributaries and Their Relation to Anthropogenic Activities, in the Main Urban Districts of Chongqing City, Southwest China

  • Pei Lei
  • Ke Pan
  • Hong ZhangEmail author
  • Jianlin Bi


Concentrations, sources and risk of 16 priority polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were investigated in surface sediments from 19 representative tributaries in a regional scale of Chongqing City. The total concentration of 16 PAHs (ΣPAHs) ranged from 221 to 3205 ng g−1 with a mean of 1055 ng g−1. Most tributaries of the Jialing River exhibited significantly higher ΣPAHs concentrations (mean 1864 ng g−1) compared to those flowing into the Yangtze River (mean 787 ng g−1). Isomeric ratio and hierarchical clustering analysis showed combustion may impact sedimentary PAHs at most center sites of the City, while PAHs at most sites were mixed of petrogenic and pyrogenic sources. Toxicity equivalency concentration for carcinogenic PAH were 2–4 times more than the Dutch limit. More comprehensive assessment of safety is suggested to reduce environmental risk of PAHs in sediments.


PAHs Sediment Tributary Chongqing 



This work was supported by the Major Science and Technology Program for Water Pollution Control and Treatment (2012ZX07307-002), the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2017M622782), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41676095), and the Science and Technology Innovation Commission of Shenzhen (JCYJ20160422153856130). The authors also thank our colleague Yan’an Pan and Bozhen Zhang for help with sample collection.

Supplementary material

128_2018_2411_MOESM1_ESM.docx (84 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 84 KB)


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Advanced StudyShenzhen UniversityShenzhenChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Devices and Systems of Ministry of Education and Guangdong Province, College of Optoelectronic EngineeringShenzhen UniversityShenzhenChina
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Environmental Aquatic Chemistry, Research Center for Eco-Environmental SciencesChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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