Characterization and source assessment of heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in sediments of the Fosu Lagoon, Ghana

Gilbert, E.; Dodoo, D.K.; Okai-Sam, F.; Essuman, K.; Quagraine, E.K.

Journal of Environmental Science and Health. Part A Toxic/Hazardous Substances and Environmental Engineering 41(12): 2747-2775


ISSN/ISBN: 1093-4529
PMID: 17114105
DOI: 10.1080/10934520600966649
Accession: 012843957

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The first results ever obtained on polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAHs) concentrations in the Fosu lagoon surface sediments are presented together with corresponding heavy metal (Fe, Mn, Cd, Zn and Ni) concentrations. Samples collected on a monthly basis from November 2003-April 2004 (Heavy metals) and December 2003-January 2004 (PAHs) at 8 locations, representing different anthropogenic sources of contamination to the lagoon, were analyzed. Concentrations of Cd and Ni in the lagoon sediment suggest greater contamination to the lagoon from industrial activities in the vicinity of the lagoon; 50% of the sediment samples exceeded some established sediment Cd guidelines for the protection of aquatic lives. Then, 15 PAHs were detected among the sediments from the different locations and the compositional pattern in decreasing order was 3-ring > 5-ring > 4-ring > 6-ring > 2-ring PAH compounds. Sigma PAH concentrations in the sediment samples ranged from 254 to 558 mg/kg, with a mean of 359.4 mg/kg. Two distinct areas were identified to be a major source of anthropogenic load of both heavy metals and PAH; the mechanical shop in the northeastern sector of the lagoon is the main location for the input of Cd and it's associated PAH compounds (e.g., acenapthylene, acenaphthene, naphthalene and benzopyrene and anthracene). These chemicals seem to enter the lagoon mainly by the combustion of especially wood or coal.