John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Aquatic predicted no effect concentrations of 16 PAHs and their ecological risks in surface seawater of Liaodong Bay, China

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Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), a class of ubiquitous pollutants in marine environments, exhibit moderate to high adverse effects on aquatic lives and humans. However, the lack of toxicity data of PAHs to aquatic organism limited the evaluation of their ecological risks. In the present study, aquatic predicted no effect concentrations (PNECs) of 16 priority PAHs were derived based on specie sensitivity distribution models and their probabilistic ecological risks in seawater of Liaodong Bay, Bohai Sea were assessed. Quantitative structure‐activity relationship method was adopted to achieve the predicted chronic toxicity data for the PNEC derivation. Good agreement for aquatic PNECs of 8 PAHs based on predicted and experimental chronic toxicity data was observed (R2 = 0.746) and the calculated PNECs ranged from 0.011 to 205.3 µg/L. A significant log‐linear relationship also exists between octanol/water partition coefficient and PNEC derived from experimental toxicity data (R2 = 0.757). Similar order of ecological risks for the 16 PAH species in seawater of Liaodong Bay was found by probabilistic risk quotient and joint probability curve methods. The individual high ecological risk of benzo(a)pyrene, benzo(b)fluoranthene and benz(a)anthracene needs to be focused. The combined ecological risk of PAHs in seawater of Liaodong Bay calculated by joint probability curve method was 13.9% indicating a high risk caused by co‐exposure of PAHs. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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