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Using gridded multimedia model to simulate spatial fate of Benzo[α]pyrene on regional scale

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


<mark>Journal publication date</mark>02/2014
<mark>Journal</mark>Environment International
Number of pages11
Early online date16/11/13
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Predicting the environmental multimedia fate is an essential step in the process of assessing the human exposure and health impacts of chemicals released into the environment. Multimedia fate models have been widely applied to calculate the fate and distribution of chemicals in the environment, which can serve as input to a human exposure model. In this study, a grid based multimedia fugacity model at regional scale was developed together with a case study modeling the fate and transfer of Benzo[α]pyrene (BaP) in Bohai coastal region, China. Based on the estimated emission and in-site survey in 2008, the BaP concentrations in air, vegetation, soil, fresh water, fresh water sediment and coastal water as well as the transfer fluxes were derived under the steady-state assumption. The model results were validated through comparison between the measured and modeled concentrations of BaP. The model results indicated that the predicted concentrations of BaP in air, fresh water, soil and sediment generally agreed with field observations. Model predictions suggest that soil was the dominant sink of BaP in terrestrial systems. Flow from air to soil, vegetation and costal water were three major pathways of BaP inter-media transport processes. Most of the BaP entering the sea was transferred by air flow, which was also the crucial driving force in the spatial distribution processes of BaP. The Yellow River, Liaohe River and Daliao River played an important role in the spatial transformation processes of BaP. Compared with advection outflow, degradation was more important in removal processes of BaP. Sensitivities of the model estimates to input parameters were tested. The result showed that emission rates, compartment dimensions, transport velocity and degradation rates of BaP were the most influential parameters for the model output. Monte Carlo simulation was carried out to determine parameter uncertainty, from which the coefficients of variation for the estimated BaP concentrations in air and soil were computed, which were 0.46 and 1.53, respectively. The model output-concentrations of BaP in multimedia environment can be used in human exposure and risk assessment in the Bohai coastal region. The results also provide significant indicators on the likely dominant fate, influence range of emission and transport processes determining behavior of BaP in the Bohai coastal region, which is instrumental in human exposure and risk assessment in the region.