Distribution and characteristics of PAHs in sediments from the coastal environment of Egypt Conference Paper uri icon


  • To assess the contamination of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the coastal environment and coastal lakes of Egypt, 40 sediment samples were collected and analyzed. This study provides perspectives on concentration ranges and on geographic distributions of PAHs. Total concentration of 46 PAHs studied in the sediments, expressed as PAH, varied from 17.5 to 23,701.8 ng g-1 dry wt. with a mean of 2,724.9 ng g-1. While the total amount of the non-substituted parent PAHs in sediment samples ranged from 5.4 to 15,765.1 ng g-1 dry weight. Industrialized and urbanized region showed high level of PAHs contamination. The PAH-fingerprints of the sediments in most of the sampling sites is varied, which is in turn indicated dissimilarity in the compositional pattern of PAHs. Major PAHs sources inferred from diagnostic indices were both pyrogenic and petrogenic. The ratio COMB/EPA-PAHs was high to very high (0.7-10.8) in most of the sediment samples of the study area indicating that there is extensive combustion activities along the coastal environment. Generally, The concentration of total PAHs in the northern coastal sediments are high compared with those reported for other similar world areas, indicating that the PAH pollution in the sediments of the study area is comparatively high. In the investigated coastal sediments of Egypt, 7.5% sites had a mean PAH ERL quotient >1.0, indicating the potential to cause adverse effects in sensitive species. The boats waiting area of the Eastern harbour of Alexandria was recognized as highly contaminated with PAHs, and recommended to be managed with special plan.

published proceedings

  • ACS National Meeting Book of Abstracts

author list (cited authors)

  • Mostafa, A., Wade, T. L., Sweet, S. T., El Sayed, N. B., & Barakat, A. O.

complete list of authors

  • Mostafa, A||Wade, TL||Sweet, ST||El Sayed, NB||Barakat, AO

publication date

  • December 2009