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Uptake and translocation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heavy metals by maize from soil irrigated with wastewater

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Article number12165
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>22/09/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Scientific Reports
Issue number1
Number of pages11
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


By investigating the uptake of 16 priority polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and five heavy metals from soils to maize at the farmlands with industrial wastewater irrigation, this study revealed the effects of heavy metals on PAHs uptake in terms of co-contamination. The results of 15 investigated soils showed medium contamination level and the vertical PAHs distribution in soils indicated that 2-3 rings PAHs with low octanol-water partition coefficient (log Kow < 4.5) were easier to transport in soils, causing a great potential risk immigrating to the groundwater. The 3-ring PAHs were most likely to be taken up by maize roots whereas 2- and 4-6 ring PAHs had the lower likelihood. The translocation of PAHs in maize tissues has positive relationship with log Kow less than 4.5, while negatively correlated otherwise. Redundancy analysis indicated the unexpected results that, except for soil PAHs concentration, the PAHs translocation by maize was reduced by Pb uptake, but not significantly affected by soil organic matters, pH or the other four heavy metals (Cr, Cu, Ni and Zn). This study for the first time provides the restricted factors of PAHs and heavy metal acropetal translocation by maize when they co-exist at wastewater irrigation sites.