Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Urban Runoff Sediments (Case Study: Tehran City)

Document Type : Research Article


Shahid Beheshti University


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are of special importance because of their toxicity, stability, lipophilicity, bioaccumulation, carcinogenesis and mutagenic impacts on living organisms and human. Urban runoff contains significant amounts of PAH compounds, which result in transfer them to receiving environments and have significant environmental and health risks. Because of the hydrophobicity characteristic, transport of these compounds in aquatic environment, mainly coupled to suspended particles and sediments. Hence, evaluation of sediments is considered as one of the environments that affect the fate and transport of these compounds. Present study was performed to evaluating the concentrations and sources of PAH compounds in sediments of Tehran urban runoff network. The sediment samples were taken from the three main sub catchments of Tehran city in April 2017 and the concentration of 16 priority PAH compounds and organic carbon was measured and finally their probable emission sources were determined using five indexes of diagnostic ratios. The total PAHs concentration in three sub-catchments ranged from 57 to 978.2 ng / g dry weight. Also, distribution of concentrations in sub- catchment 2(57-976.6 ng/g) was higher than the sub[1]catchment 1(84.4-773.2 ng/g) and Sub-catchment 3(76.3–978.2 ng/g) due to the locating in center of the city and the diversity of pollutant sources. Moreover, the survey of the relationship between total organic carbon and PAHs showed a significant and strong correlation between these two variables, but its coefficient varied in each sub-catchments. At all stations except the station C1S27, 3 and 4 rings compounds in comparison with the other compounds had significant dominance. Four indexes showed the origin of compounds at all stations are pyrogenic and The LMW/HMW index showed that the source of contamination in 30% of the stations is petrogenic. Generally, the results showed that the portion of pyrogenic sources is significantly higher due to high population density, traffic and human activities.


Main Subjects

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