The concentration, distribution, profile and possible source of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in soil were studied in Guiyu, an electronic waste (E-waste) recycling center, using primitive technologies in Southeast China. Sixteen USEPA priority PAHs were analyzed in 49 soil samples (0-10 cm layer) in terms of individual and total concentrations, together with soil organic matter (SOM) concentrations. The concentrations of a sum of 16 PAHs ranged from 44.8 to 3206 μg kg-1 (dry weight basis), in the descending order of E-waste open burning sites (2065 μg kg-1) > areas near burning sites (851 μg kg-1) > rice fields (354 μg kg-1) > reservoir areas (125 μg kg-1). The dominant PAHs were naphthalene, phenanthrene and fluoranthene, which were mainly derived from incomplete combustion of E-waste (e.g. wire insulations and PVC materials), and partly from coal combustion and motorcycle exhausts. All individual and total PAH concentrations were significantly correlated with SOM except for naphthalene and acenaphthylene. Principal component analysis was performed, which indicated that PAHs were mainly distributed into three groups in accordance with their ring numbers and biological and anthropogenic source. In conclusion, PAH concentrations in the Guiyu soil were affected by the primitive E-waste recycling activities.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
- Principal component analysis