26 Sep 2019

Ultrasensitive detection of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in coastal and harbor water using GC-APLI-MS

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are a group of ubiquitous environmental pollutants among which some compounds show carcinogenic properties. The emission of PAH from anthropogenic and natural sources to the aquatic environment demands monitoring. In this study, ten different surface water samples were collected and analyzed for 48 different PAH compounds by gas chromatography-atmospheric-pressure-laser-ionization coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-APLI-MS) after liquid-liquid extraction.

Results varied from 9.22 ng/L for fluoranthene in harbor water to 0.01 ng/L for 4-methylchrysene in Rhine river water. Overall low PAH concentrations were found in the samples. Toxic equivalent (TEQ) calculations were used to assess the potential environmental impact of the analyzed compounds. The results showed higher concentrations and TEQ for the samples from harbors in comparison to riverine and estuarine sampling locations. Suspected target analysis indicated the occurrence of alkylated PAH in the surface water samples.

Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 149, 2019, 110547 - © 2019 Elsevier Ltd.

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The research was supported by Concawe.