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The PAH composition of surface sediments from Stagnone coastal lagoon, Marsala (Italy)

  • Authors: Culotta, L.; DE STEFANO, C.; Gianguzza, A.; Mannino, M.; Orecchio, S.
  • Publication year: 2006
  • Type: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • Key words: PAH; Marine sediments; extraction; Gas-mass analysis
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This paper examines the presence, distribution, nature and sources of 22 Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are important environmentally and toxicologically, in sediments from the Stagnone coastal lagoon at Marsala (Italy). Analysis was performed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) with selected ion monitoring (SIM). The total concentration of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons ranged from 72 to 18381 Ag/kg of dry matrix. The relative standard deviation (RSD) of the replicates on the concentrations of individual compounds ranged from 5% to 20%. The accuracy of method was estimated by analyzing bblankQ samples added of known quantities of analytes and the recover percentage was 88F9%. The detection limit (LOD) of analytical procedure was less than 0.2 Ag/kg d.w. for all analytes. The quantification limit (LOQ) of analytical procedure was less than 0.7 Ag/kg d.w. The resulting distributions and weight ratios of specific compounds are discussed in terms of sampling location and origin of organic matter. A comparison with other studies of total PAHs suggests that the levels are within the concentration ranges already reported by other authors. From an eco-toxicological point of view, total PAH concentrations at seven out of the eight sites studied represent a relatively clean environment when compared to other sites. Organic matter content and PAH concentrations were found to be correlated and the compounds present in Stagnone sediments were shown to be mainly of pyrolitic origin, while a negligible quantity of PAHs may derive from biogenic sources since all the sediments contain perylene traces. There is no evidence of coal-tar contamination. Cluster analysis was carried out in order to discriminate between different PAH origins.