Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon and heavy metal contents in the urban soils in southern Poland

Krystyna Ciarkowska , Florian Gambuś , Jacek Antonkiewicz , Tilemachos Koliopoulos


In this study, we examined how urban and industrial sprawl has affected the concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heavy metals (HMs) in the soils of two towns with different levels of urbanisation and industrial development. The concentrations, sources and spatial distributions of PAHs and Zn, Pb and Cd in the soils of the central, residential and green areas of the second largest town in Poland (Krakow) were compared to similar parameters in analogous areas of Zakopane, a small tourist town. The concentration ranges of the PAHs were much higher in the Krakow (337–59,694 μg kg−1) than in the Zakopane (55–1180 μg kg−1) soils. The Krakow soils were also characterised by higher levels of Cd (2.33–4.18 mg kg−1) and Pb (24.2–82.1 mg kg−1) than the Zakopane soils, in which the Cd and Pb concentrations amounted to 0.57–2.29 and 17.8–67.8 mg kg−1, respectively. Positive matrix factorisation (PMF) analysis identified the emission sources of the soil PAHs in both studied towns. In the Krakow soils, the main sources of the PAHs were traffic emissions, petroleum combustion and the steel-industry, while in the Zakopane soils, they were coal and biomass combustion, used for heating houses, followed by vehicle and gasoline emissions. A human health risk assessment, based on the toxic equivalency factors of benzo(a)pyrene (BaPeq), indicated a low level of PAHs contamination in most of the studied areas. Only in one area in central Krakow the BaPeq concentration exceeded the permissible value by nine-fold.
Author Krystyna Ciarkowska (FoAaE / IoSSaA)
Krystyna Ciarkowska,,
- Institute of Soil Science and Agrophysics
, Florian Gambuś (FoAaE / DoAaECh)
Florian Gambuś,,
- Department of Agricultural and Environmental Chemistry
, Jacek Antonkiewicz (FoAaE / DoAaECh)
Jacek Antonkiewicz,,
- Department of Agricultural and Environmental Chemistry
, Tilemachos Koliopoulos
Tilemachos Koliopoulos,,
Journal seriesChemosphere, ISSN 0045-6535, e-ISSN 1879-1298, (N/A 100 pkt)
Issue year2019
Publication size in sheets0.6
Keywords in EnglishPAHs sources, PAHs distribution pattern, Risk assessment, PMF analysis, Heavy metals, Urban soils
ASJC Classification2700 General Medicine; 1600 General Chemistry; 2304 Environmental Chemistry
URL https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0045653519308720
Internal identifierWRE/2019/46
Languageen angielski
Score (nominal)100
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators WoS Citations = 3; Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2018 = 1.54; WoS Impact Factor: 2018 = 5.108 (2) - 2018=5.089 (5)
Citation count*21 (2020-08-11)
Additional fields
FinansowanieThis Research was financed by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Republic of Poland (DS-3167/IGiA/18, 3101/KChiS/18).
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* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.
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