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versión impresa ISSN 0188-8897


ARIAS, Andrés H. et al. Sources analysis and equivalent toxicity assessment of PAHs impacted sediments in Bahia Blanca Estuary, Argentina. Hidrobiológica [online]. 2010, vol.20, n.1, pp.41-56. ISSN 0188-8897.

This paper presents a comprehensive survey of PAHs in coastal sediments of Bahia Blanca, Argentina and provides useful information of their levels of concentration, sources, ecotoxicological assessment and carcinogenic PAHs profile of local emissions. Sediments were analyzed following Environmental Protection Agency (EPA, USA) protocols by means of Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry, showing total concentrations of PAHs in a range from 103 to more than 2,000 ng.g-1 (mean: 527 ± 114 ng.g-1; median: 507 ng.g-1). A dynamic state of PAHs pollution was demonstrated for the area which was defined by widespread low to moderate levels, but including punctual zones with high pollution processes. Molecular ratios calculations determined a generalized overimposition of pyrolitic PAHs over the petrogenic input. The pyrolitic pattern moved to a biomass burning origin during summer, the period of highest recorded fires. In addition, the ecotoxicological guidelines approach for PAHs chemical concentrations in sediment defined a rare occurrence of biological effects for the majority of sampled sites; however, frequent effects were expected for punctual locations. Further, Total Benzo-a-pyrene equivalents from several sampling stations were found to be above international regulations. Finally, the PAHs carcinogenic dose was calculated using the BaP equivalent factors approach and compared with other worldwide coastal studies by means of Hierarchical Cluster Analysis.

Palabras llave : Sediments; Bahía Blanca estuary; molecular ratios; guidelines; carcinogenic PAHs.

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