166 Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in seawater after the mysterious oil spill of 2019 on the Pernambuco coast, northeast Brazil

da S. Moreira T.C., de Oliveira A.F.B., de Lucena P.G.C., do Nascimento E.S., de Almeida L.M.F., de Araújo-Castro C.M.V., Rojas L.A.V., Yogui G.T., Zanardi-Lamardo E., Santos J.M. (2024) Marine Pollution Bulletin, 203, art. no. 116395,  DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2024.116395

ABSTRACT: In 2019, one of Brazil’s most significant environmental disasters occurred, involving an oil spill that directly affected Pernambuco state. Contamination along the coast was evaluated by the quantification of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in fifty seawater samples collected in the summer and winter of 2021. Analysis using fluorescence spectroscopy revealed that for all the samples, levels of dissolved/dispersed petroleum hydrocarbons (DDPHs) were higher than the regional baseline for tropical western shores of the Atlantic Ocean. GC–MS analyses quantified 17 PAHs in the samples, with highest total PAHs concentrations of 234 ng L−1 in summer and 33.3 ng L−1 in winter, which were consistent with the highest risks observed in ecotoxicity assays. The use of diagnostic ratios showed that the coast was impacted by a mixture of PAHs from petrogenic and pyrolytic sources. The results indicated the need for continuous monitoring of the regions affected by the 2019 spill.

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