Size distribution and diffuse pollution impacts of PAHs in street dust in urban streams in the Yangtze River Delta

Hongtao Zhao, Chengqing Yin, Meixue Chen, Weidong Wang, Christopher Jefferies, Baoqing Shan

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Particles of dust washed off streets by stormwater are an important pathway of polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) into urban streams. This article presented a comprehensive assessment of the size distribution of PAHs in street dust particles, the potential risks of the particles in urban streams, and the sources and sinks of PAHs in the stream network. This assessment was based on measurements of 16 PAHs from the USEPA priority list in street dust particles and river sediments in Xincheng, China. The content of total PAHs ranged from 1629 to 8986 μg/kg in street dust particles, where smaller particles have a higher concentrations. Approximately 55% of the total PAHs were associated with particles less than 250 μm which accounted for 40% of the total mass of street dust. The PAH quantities increased from 2.41 to 46.86 μg/m2 in the sequence of new residential, rising through main roads, old town residential, commercial and industrial areas. The sediments in stream reaches in town were found to be sinks for street dust particle PAHs. The research findings suggested that particle size, land use and the hydrological conditions in the stream network were the factors which most influenced the total loads of PAH in the receiving water bodies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-167
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Environmental Sciences-China
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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