Sci Rep. 2022 Jul 4;12(1):11301. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-15285-5.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a class of persistent organic pollutants. With the expansion of the city, the suburban environment is being increasingly polluted by PAHs, which pose a huge potential risk for suburban agriculture. Therefore, we conducted a survey focusing on the pollution level, sources, and risk of PAHs in Changchun suburban vegetable soils, Northeast China. The total concentrations of 16 PAHs (Σ16PAHs) in soils were between 2338.2 and 15,200 ng g-1 (mean 6778.1 ng g-1), which were significantly higher than those in most other cities. High molecular weight PAHs were the major components, which occupied over 85.63% of all PAHs. Seven potential carcinogenic PAHs accounted for 56.96% of the Σ16PAHs. Source apportionment results based on the ratio of PAH isomers and principal components analysis showed that PAHs were primarily derived from pyrolysis sources, such as biomass/coal combustion, traffic emissions, and petroleum. Ecological risk values of PAHs were between effects range-low (ERL) and effects range-median (ERM), which might cause occasionally ecological risks in the suburbs. According to the incremental lifetime cancer risk assessment results, the health risks to the exposed population were in the acceptable level, with dermal contact and ingestion being the predominant exposure pathway.