Contamination from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the soilof a botanic garden localized next to a former manufacturing gas plant inPalermo (Italy)

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The Botanical Garden lies within the city of Palermo, a few meters away from one of the largest unusedManufacturing Gas Plant in Sicily. The total concentrations of PAHs (23 compounds) in the soil of BotanicalGarden ranged from 947 to 18,072 g/kg. The wide range of PAH concentrations (RSD = 84%) found in thesoil samples indicates heterogeneous levels of contamination in the area and this can be explained byconsidering the different tree distributions which prevents the homogeneous deposition of pollutants onthe soil. Soils collected in the Botanical Garden generally showed the highest PAH concentrations, beingalmost 2–3 times higher than the concentration samples obtained in the urban reference sites and about20 times higher than those in the rural stations. The total PAH concentrations, in the Botanical Garden soil,resulted higher than the maximum concentrations allowed by the Italian legislation for the green areas.Perylene, was found in all the stations. From a careful study of the isomeric ratios,wecan hypothesize thatthe soils of the Botanical Garden are mainly affected by localized MGP particulate deposition, suggestingthat the partitioning between organic matter and PAHs is not the dominant process in the soils withhigher organic matter content.©
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)590-601
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Publication statusPublished - 2010


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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