Distribution, Source Apportionment, and Risk Assessment of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the Surficial Sediments from the Coastal Areas of Bangladesh

  • Md. Habibullah-Al-MamunEmail author
  • Md. Kawser Ahmed
  • Anwar Hossain
  • Shigeki Masunaga


The surficial sediments were collected in winter and summer (2015) from the coastal areas of Bangladesh and analyzed for 16 USEPA priority polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The total concentration of PAHs (∑PAHs) were 349.8–11,058.8 and 199.9–17,089.1 ng/g dry weight (dw) in winter and summer, respectively. Sediements from the areas with recent urbanization and industrialization (Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar, and Sundarbans) were more contaminated with PAHs than the unindustrialized area (Meghna Estuary). The concentrations of ∑PAHs were slightly higher in summer than those in winter, but the seasonal variations were not statistically significant (p > 0.05). Molecular ratios suggested mixed sources of PAHs in the Bangladeshi coastal areas with a slight imposition of pyrolytic inputs closely related to shipping and fishing activities as well as industrial and municipal sewage discharge. According to ecological risk assessment, the measured levels of sedimentary PAHs exceeded some of the existing national and international environmental quality guidelines/standards, and thus might cause acute biological damage in the studied areas of the Bay of Bengal coast of Bangladesh.



This study was supported by the FY2016 Asia Focused Academic Research Grant from the Heiwa Nakajima Foundation ( The authors are also grateful for financial support for Dr. Md. Habibullah-Al-Mamun from the Research Collaboration Promotion Fund provided by Graduate School of Environment and Information Sciences, Yokohama National University, Japan (Grant No. 65A0516). Furthermore, we are thankful for the kind help from the members of the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, during the field sampling.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 61 kb)


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Environment and Information SciencesYokohama National UniversityYokohamaJapan
  2. 2.Department of FisheriesUniversity of DhakaDhakaBangladesh
  3. 3.Department of Oceanography, Earth and Environmental Science FacultyUniversity of DhakaDhakaBangladesh
  4. 4.Faculty of Environment and Information SciencesYokohama National UniversityYokohamaJapan

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