143 Environmental fate and health risks of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the Yangtze River Delta Urban Agglomeration during the 21st century

Nie N., Li T., Miao Y., Wei X., Zhao D., Liu M. (2024) Journal of Hazardous Materials, 465, art. no. 133407, DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2023.133407

ABSTRACT: Understanding the spatiotemporal distribution and behavior of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the context of climate change and human activities is essential for effective environmental management and public health protection. This study utilized an integrated simulation system that combines land-use, hydrological, and multimedia fugacity models to predict the concentrations, transportation, and degradation of 16 priority-controlled PAHs across six environmental compartments (air, water, soil, sediment, vegetation, and impermeable surfaces) within one of the world’s prominent urban agglomerations, the Yangtze River Delta Urban Agglomeration (YRDUA), under future Shared Socio-economic Pathways (SSP)-Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) scenarios. Incremental lifetime carcinogenic risk for adults and children exposed to PAHs were also evaluated. The results show a declining trend in PAHs concentrations and associated health risks during the 21st century. Land use types, hydrological characteristics, population, and GDP, have significant correlations with the fate of PAHs. The primary removal for PAHs is determined to be driven by advection through air and water. PAHs covering on impermeable surfaces pose a relatively higher health risk compared to those in other environmental media. This study offers valuable insights into PAHs pollution in the YRDUA, aiming to ensure public health safety, with the potential for application in other urban areas.

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