New values to assess polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons pollution: Proposed background oncentrations in marine sediment cores from the Atlantic Spanish Coast
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Sediment quality guidelines
When dealing with environmental monitoring, background assessment values are needed to identify such concentrations of pollutants that can be assumed as natural. Background Concentration (BC) values are defined for natural compounds as the concentration of a contaminant at a “pristine” or “remote” site based on contemporary or historical data. Previously BC values exist for some polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), but are under revision and do not exist for individual alkylated PAHs. Moreover, they will differ in different geological locations and should be specified geographically. Based on analytical data obtained from sediment cores from the North Atlantic Coast, this study present BC values for 35 PAHs which will increase the actual database in 10 new values for parent PAHs and, for the first time, for 13 individual alkylated compounds. Granulometric and organic matter studies were performed in the sediments to both classify the studied sediments and to assure that the derived ...