Assessment of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in School Playground Soils in Urban Gwangju, South Korea

  • Mohammad Nazrul Islam
  • Young-Tae Jo
  • Seon-Yong Chung
  • Jeong-Hun Park


Soil samples from school playground of Gwangju City were analyzed for 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and the soil contamination status and the potential cancer risk for students and adults were investigated. Soil samples were collected from 57 sites from 5 districts of Gwangju City in the summer of 2013. Regardless of the sampling site, the ∑PAHs concentrations ranged from 13.2 to 145.5 ng/g (mean 51.2 ng/g). Four and five-ring PAHs were predominant in the soil samples while the fraction of two-ring PAHs was the lowest. Seven carcinogenic PAHs contributed ~ 55% of ∑PAHs in school playground soils. The benzo[a]pyrene (46.4%) and dibenz[a,h]anthracene (41.2%) were the major contributors to toxic equivalent quantity. The strong correlation between carcinogenic PAHs suggested that they originated from the same source either vehicular emission or coal combustion, because they are markers of these pollution sources. The mean cancer risk for students (3.61 × 10−7) and adults (8.41 × 10−6) was in the U.S. EPA safety range (< 10−6).



The authors acknowledge a Grant-in-aid (No. 13-2-60-61) for research from Gwangju Green Environment Center, Korea.

Supplementary material

244_2017_467_MOESM1_ESM.docx (132 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 132 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environment and Energy EngineeringChonnam National UniversityGwangjuRepublic of Korea

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