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Polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) levels from two industrial zones (Sihwa and Banwal) located in An-san city of the Korean peninsula and their influence on lake

Hashmi Imran
Kim Jong–Guk
Sim Kim Kyoung
Park Jin-Soo


The present research investigation was aimed at monitoring the levels of polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the Korean ambient air, pine needle, and soil. Samples were collected from two large industrial zones of An-san city namely Sihwa and Banwal, both these industrial zones were further divided into major and minor zones in order to compare the levels of PAHs between the two industrial zones. Furthermore, the quality of the lake water near these two industrial zones was also monitored by analyzing water (dissolved phase, suspended solids) and sediment samples for the detection of PAHs. In this study, a high volume sampling method (HVAS-Sibata) was employed to collect airborne PAHs in both the particulate and gas phases. Hewlett Packard gas chromatographs equipped with mass spectrometer detectors (GC/MS) were used to analyze the samples. The monitoring data revealed that Sihwa major industrial zone have lower levels of PAHs in comparison to Sihwa minor industrial zone where increase levels of PAHs were observed in both the ambient air and soil samples, whereas in case of pine needle sample the PAHs levels were higher in Sihwa industrial zone. The sum of PAHs levels in ambient air from Sihwa major industrial and minor zones were found to be ranging between 50.17 ng/m3 and 96.46 ng/m3 whereas the estimated levels of PAHs from Banwal major industrial and minor zones were found to be ranging between 149.64 ng/m3 and 34.87 ng/m3 respectively. Since Banwal major industrial zone includes many sources, higher levels of PAHs were observed in almost all the samples as compared to Banwal minor industrial zone. Similarly, the level of PAHs in water and sediment samples from lake near Sihwa industrial zone showed an increase trend in dissolved and suspended solids in comparison to samples collected near Banwal industrial zone. Phenanthrene, Indeno[1,2,3-c,d]pyrene and Benzo[g,h,i]perylene showed the highest levels in both the zones. However, the levels of PAHs in sediment samples were lower near Sihwa industrial zone and vice versa, however lowest concentration of Anthracene was observed in both the zones. A detailed and thorough environmental monitoring for the presence of these toxic compounds in the environment is currently needed to set a baseline for future research. The work is still in progress to estimate the levels of PAHs from both these sites within our laboratory.

Journal of Applied Sciences and Environmental Management Vol. 9(3) 2005: 63-69