Distribution of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Soils within Vicinity of an Electronic Waste Open Burning Workshop in Aba, South East Nigeria

Mark O. Onyema, Chisom M. Obasi, Nkechi H. Okoye, Leo C. Osuji


Electronic waste (e-waste) workshops distributed in the commercial city of Aba, South East Nigeria, employ open burning to extract valuable sub-assemblies from the e-waste. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were studied in soils (0-5 cm) collected from three sampling points within an e-waste workshop vicinity: the e-waste open burning site (OBS-X), 30 m from the open burning site (OBS-30m) and 70 m from the open burning site (OBS-70m). Concentrations of 16 USEPA PAHs in the soils were characterized by dominance of high molecular weight (HMW) over low molecular weight (LMW). The most abundant PAHs were DA 26.45%, IP 13.82% and BbF 13.07% in OBS-X, BaA 19.78%, BbF 17.15% and BaP 16.80% in OBS-30m and Chr 23.73%, BP 14.26% and Nap 8.871% in OBS-70m. Source diagnostic PAH isomer ratios determined are Phe/Ant from 0.73 - 1.36, Fth/Pyr 1.52 - 3.79, BaA/Chr 0.29 - 28.27 and BkF/BaP 0.11 - 1.31. These results from PAH distributions and compositions indicated incomplete combustion source for pyrogenic PAHs in OBS-X and OBS-30m and mix combustion-petroleum source for PAHs in OBS-70m. In conclusion, the open burning of e-waste in Aba metropolis largely contaminated soils from the workshop vicinity, particularly with carcinogenic HMW PAHs.


Aba; composition; diagnostic ratio; e-waste; open burning; PAHs.

Full Text:



. J. Halluite, J.D. Linton, J.S. Yeomans and R. Yoogalingam. The challenge of hazardous waste management in a sustainable environment: Insights from electronic recovery laws. Corporate Social Responsibility Environment Management, vol. 12, pp. 31-37, 2005.

. A. Chen, K.N. Dietrich, X. Huo and S. Ho. Developmental neurotoxicants in e-waste: an emerging health concern. Environmental Health Perspectives, vol. 119(4), pp. 431-438, 2011.

. Daily Times. Dumping of e-waste in Nigeria. Daily Times Nigerian Newspaper (April 27, 2016), Editorial [On-line] https://dailytimes.ng/editorial/dumping-e-waste-nigeria. [January 16, 2017].

. K. Hrvoje, K. Natalija and L.B. Ana. Minimization of organic pollutant content in aqueous solution by means of AOPs: UV- and ozone-based technologies. Chemical Engineering Journal, vol. 123, pp. 127-128, 2006.

. P.D. Boehm. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Environmental Forensics Contaminant Specific Guide, 2005, pp. 313-337.

. N.R. Khalili, P.A. Scheff and T.M. Holsen. PAH source fingerprints for coke ovens, diesel and gasoline engines, highway tunnels, and wood combustion emissions. Atmospheric and Environment, vol. 29, pp. 533-542, 1995.

. K. Liu, W. Han, W.P. Pan and J.T. Riley. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) emissions from a coal-fired pilot FBC system. Journal of Hazardous Materials, vol. 84(2-3), pp. 175-188, 2001.

. W.T. Hsu, M.C. Liu, P.C. Hung, S.H. Chang and M.B. Chang. PAH emissions from coal combustion and waste incineration. Journal of Hazardous Materials, vol. 318, pp. 32-40, 2016.

. A.O.Barakat, A.R Mostafa, Y. Qian and M.C. Kennicutt II. Application of Petroleum hydrocarbon chemical fingerprinting in oil spill investigations - Gulf of Suez, Egypt. Spill Science and Technology Bulletin, vol. 7(5-6), pp. 229-239, 2002.

. W.J. Lee, W.H. Chao, M. Shih, C.H. Tsai, T.J. Chen and P.J. Tsai. Emissions of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from batch hot mix asphalt plants. Environmental Science and Technology, vol. 38(20), pp. 5274-80, 2004.

. A.A. Olajire and W. Brack. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in Niger Delta soil: Contamination sources and profiles. International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, vol. 2(4), pp. 343-352, 2005.

. M.B. Yunker, R.W. Macdonald, R. Vingarzan, R.H. Mitchell, D. Goyette and S. Sylvestre. PAHs in the Fraser River basin: a critical appraisal of PAH ratios as indicators of PAH source and composition. Organic Geochemistry, vol. 33, pp. 489-515, 2002.

. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) (August, 1995). Toxicological profile for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service. [On-line]. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofile/tp69.html [May 12, 2014].

. H.I. Abdel-Shafy and M.S.M. Mansour. A review on polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons: Source, environmental impact, effect on human health and remediation. Egyptian Journal of Petroleum, vol. 25, pp. 107-123, 2016.

. United State Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) (January, 2008). Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) - EPA fact sheet. Washington (DC): United State Environmental Protection Agency, National Center for Environmental Assessment, Office of Research and Development. [On-line] http://www.epa.gov/osw/hazard/wastemin/minimize/factshts/pahs.pdf [August 12, 2015].

. X.Z. Yu, Y. Gao, S.C. Wu, H.B. Zhang, K.C. Cheung and M.H. Wong. Distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in soils at Guiyu area of China, affected by recycling of electronic waste using primitive technologies. Chemosphere, vol. 65(9), pp. 1500-1509, 2006.

. A. Leung, Z.W. Cai and M.H. Wong. Environmental contamination from electronic waste recycling at Guiyu, southeast China. Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management, vol. 8(1), pp. 2133, 2006.

. E.C. Ukpong, E.A. Udo and I.C. Umoh. Characterization of materials from Aba waste dumpsites. International Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences, 6(3), pp. 1-10, 2015.

. Wang Z. Forensic identification and differentiation of pyrogenic PAHs from petrogenic PAHs. IOC/WESTPAC Workshop, Qingdao, China, 2009.

. A.A. Meharg, J. Wright, H. Dyke and D. Osborn. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) dispersion and deposition to vegetation and soil following a large scale chemical fire. Environmental Pollution, vol. 99, pp. 29-36, 1998.

. M.O. Onyema, L.C. Osuji and B.O. Isiuku. Compositional alteration of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons by burning oil spilled soils. Academia Journal of Environmental Science, vol. 4(11), pp. 213-219, 2016.

. K.E. Peters, C.C. Walters and J.M. Moldowan. The Biomarker Guide: Biomarkers and isotopes in petroleum exploration and earth history, Vol. 2 second ed. UK: Cambridge University Press, 2005, 700 pp.

. Z. Wang, K. Li, P. Lambert and C. Yang. Identification, characterization and quantitation of pyrogenic polycylic aromatic hydrocarbons and other organic compounds in tire fire products. Journal of Chromatography A, vol. 1139(1), pp. 14-26, 2007.

. M.O. Onyema, L.C. Osuji and I.P. Ilechukwu. Assessment of natural weathered spilled oil, Niger Delta: Compositional characteristics and fate of petroleum hydrocarbons. Journal of Applied Sciences in Environmental Sanitation, vol. 8(4), pp. 243-248, 2013.


  • There are currently no refbacks.





About IJSBAR | Privacy PolicyTerms & Conditions | Contact Us | DisclaimerFAQs 

IJSBAR is published by (GSSRR).