Assessment of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Ambient Air of Oil Producing Communities in Yenagoa and its Environs

S.A. Uzoekwe, T.O. Ikpesu


zThe distribution and toxicity of sixteen (16) US EPA priority PAHs in ambient air of oil producing communities in Bayelsa State were evaluated using USEPA method 8015B. The communities are: Otuoke (AQOT), Imiringi (AQIM), Tombia (AQTR), Berger junction (AQBJ) and Gbaran Ubie (AQGU). Benzo (b)fluoranthene was the most abundant compound at all sites with a total of 116  16.06 gKg-1 followed by Benzo(a)anthracene (85.0 14.02 gKg-1), Chrysene (51.0 7.50 gKg-1), Fluoranthene (49.0 4.7 gKg-1, Phenanthrene (21.0 7.5, gKg-1), Anthracene (9 2.81) etc. The concentrations of PAHs at different sites increased in the order: AQBJ>AQOG>AQTR> AQIM> AQOT>AQGU. Multivariate analysis including principal component analysis (PCA) and Correlation Matrix (CR) showed that industrial activities, commercial activities, and biomass combustion were responsible for the concentrations measured and sites with similar activities correlated well. The  risks posed by these pollutants to the inhabitants of these communities were calculated and the results expressed in terms of hazard quotient (HQ) (Pyrene 1.0 ; anthracene 0.87; fluoranthrene 0.35; napthanlene 0.1) and ‗excess life cancer risk‘ (ELCR) (dibenzo (a,h) anthracene 1.27x102; benzo(a)anthracene 14.6x10-1; indeno (1,2,3-cd) pyrene 4.2x10-1; benzo(k)fluoranthene 1.7x10-1 and chrysene 2.1x10-3) for non-cancer PAHs and carcinogenic PAHs respectively.  This calls for holistic monitoring of the PAHs emission in this region, as exposure to this POPs causes a variety of negative health effects

  Keywords: PAHs, Ambient air, Fluoranthene, Multivariate analysis, Health effects, Anthracene.

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