This study was carried out to predict the source of the sixteen priority polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) compounds in water, sediment, and biota samples from River Ethiope, Delta State, Southern Nigeria. The samples were extracted using soxhlet extraction and analysed with GC/FID. Results obtained for total concentration of the sixteen priority PAHs ranges from 0.185 to 3.679 mg/kg (sediment), 0.000 to 27.353 µg/l (water), and 0.053 to 6.060 µg/kg (biota samples). The result indicated that the concentration level in the water, sediment, and biota are considerably low. Although the PAH were below the USEPA standard, the observed levels can cause adverse effects for lower dwelling aquatic organisms, which are exposed to the sediments daily. Therefore, persistent monitoring and strict adherence to responsible waste discharge should be upheld by all manufacturing and agro-industries in the catchment of the river to avoid deleterious effects on biodiversity and to ensure the safety of the consumers. From the source prediction, the results obtained show the sources are quite similar across the sample sites. This is an indication that the PAHs in the water samples are mostly of pyrogenic origin, except the water samples from Abraka site 2, which are petrogenic. All river sediment samples show pyrogenic origins.
Keywords: Source prediction, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), combustion, River Ethiope.
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