Abstract

In this research, the levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were investigated in the marine sediments of Asaluyeh harbor, in the Persian Gulf. The samples were taken from industrial, semi-industrial and urban regions. The mean concentration levels of total (Σ) 18 detected PCBs were 514.32, 144.67 and 31.6 pg/g dw for the industrial, semi-industrial and urban sampling stations, respectively. Based on a multivariate statistical analysis, it was found that high contamination levels of PCBs in sediments collected along the Persian Gulf were associated with releases from local industries. Total organic carbon (TOC) content was significantly and positively correlated with the concentrations of PCB congeners. World Health Organization toxic equivalents (TEQs) for PCBs ranged from 0.04 to 2.66 pg TEQ/g dry weight (dw) in the coastal sediments. The TEQ values in this study were higher than many reported worldwide in the literature for sediments. This suggests that there are high levels of contamination in the area due to industrial and other human activities.

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