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

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This paper examines the presence, distribution, nature and sources of 22 Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are importantenvironmentally and toxicologically, in sediments from the Stagnone coastal lagoon at Marsala (Italy). Analysis was performed bygas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) with selected ion monitoring (SIM). The total concentration of polycyclicaromatic hydrocarbons ranged from 72 to 18381 Ag/kg of dry matrix. The relative standard deviation (RSD) of the replicates onthe concentrations of individual compounds ranged from 5% to 20%. The accuracy of method was estimated by analyzingbblankQ samples added of known quantities of analytes and the recover percentage was 88F9%. The detection limit (LOD) ofanalytical procedure was less than 0.2 Ag/kg d.w. for all analytes. The quantification limit (LOQ) of analytical procedure was lessthan 0.7 Ag/kg d.w.The resulting distributions and weight ratios of specific compounds are discussed in terms of sampling location and origin oforganic matter. A comparison with other studies of total PAHs suggests that the levels are within the concentration ranges alreadyreported by other authors. From an eco-toxicological point of view, total PAH concentrations at seven out of the eight sites studiedrepresent 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 sedimentswere shown to be mainly of pyrolitic origin, while a negligible quantity of PAHs may derive from biogenic sources since all thesediments contain perylene traces. There is no evidence of coal-tar contamination.Cluster analysis was carried out in order to discriminate between different PAH origins.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-127
Number of pages11
JournalMarine Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oceanography
  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology


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