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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 858309, 13 pages
Research Article

Assessing the Ecological Risk of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Sediments at Langkawi Island, Malaysia

1Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
2South-East Asia Disaster Prevention Research Institute (SEADPRI), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
3Environment Engineering and Green Technology, Malaysia Japan International Institute of Technology, University Technologi Malaysia, 54100 Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Malaysia

Received 8 July 2013; Accepted 14 August 2013

Academic Editors: H. A. Alegria, A. C. Ruiz Fernández, and O. Wurl

Copyright © 2013 Essam Nasher et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Tourism-related activities such as the heavy use of boats for transportation are a significant source of petroleum hydrocarbons that may harm the ecosystem of Langkawi Island. The contamination and toxicity levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) in the sediments of Langkawi were evaluated using sediment quality guidelines (SQGs) and toxic equivalent factors. Ten samples were collected from jetties and fish farms around the island in December 2010. A gas chromatography/flame ionization detector (GC/FID) was used to analyse the 18 PAHs. The concentration of total PAHs was found to range from 869 ± 00 to 1637 ± 20 ng g−1 with a mean concentration of 1167.00 ± 24 ng g−1, lower than the SQG effects range-low (3442 ng g−1). The results indicated that PAHs may not cause acute biological damage. Diagnostic ratios and principal component analysis suggested that the PAHs were likely to originate from pyrogenic and petrogenic sources. The toxic equivalent concentrations of the PAHs ranged from 76.3 to 177 ng TEQ/g d.w., which is lower compared to similar studies. The results of mean effects range-median quotient of the PAHs were lower than 0.1, which indicate an 11% probability of toxicity effect. Hence, the sampling sites were determined to be the low-priority sites.