John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Source contributions and spatiotemporal characteristics of PAHs in sediments: Using three‐way source apportionment approach

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PAHs were measured in sediments from 29 sites throughout Taihu Lake in China during two seasons, to investigate spatiotemporal characteristics and source contributions using three‐way source apportionment approach (PMF3). Seasonal and spatial variations of levels and toxicity suggested higher individual carcinogenic PAHs concentrations and toxic equivalent quantity (TEQ) in flooding season. Three‐way PAHs dataset (PAH species, spatial variability and seasonal variability) was analyzed by PMF3 and its results were compared with widely used two‐way model (PMF2). Consistent results were observed: vehicular emission was the most important contributor (67.08% by PMF2 and 61.83% by PMF3 for flooding season; 54.21% by PMF2 and 52.94% by PMF3 for dry season), followed by coal combustion and wood combustion in both seasons. PMF‐cluster analysis was employed to investigate spatial variability of source contributions. Findings can introduce the three‐way approach to apportion sources of PAHs and other POPs in sediments, offering advantage of accounting for information of three‐way datasets. Environ Toxicol Chem © 2014 SETAC

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