Levels and spatial distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in sediments from Lenga Estuary, central Chile
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The Lenga Estuary is a small brackish wetland located southwest of San Vicente Bay, Region VIII, Chile. Surface sediment from nine sites in the estuary were analysed for PAHs and compared to Sediment Quality Guidelines (SQG). Sediment samples were freeze dried and soxhlet extracted for 16 h using DCM. Identification and quantification was carried out by HPLC. Organic carbon was also determined. Results showed total PAH concentrations ranged from 290 to 6118 (2025 ± 1975) ng g−1 d.w. (2025 ± 1975). Results for organic carbon percentages ranged from 1% to 7%. Statistical analysis showed a significant positive correlation (Pearson test) between organic carbon percentage PAHs. Comparison of contaminant levels and international Sediment Quality Guidelines (SQG) (ERL and ER) suggested that sediment of the Lenga estuary did not show any ecotoxicologial risk for benthic organisms where high levels of PAHs were detected. Monitoring of this and other contaminants is recommended in Chile.