The concentrations of the polycyclic hydrocarbons (PAH) fluoranthene, anthracene, phenanthrene, pyrene, benzo[k]fluoranthene and benzo[a]pyrene were measured in waters from three rivers which traverse the largest cities in south-eastern Australia. The PAH quantified ranged from < 0.3 to 525 ng l-1with the smaller compounds most abundant and concentration decreasing with increasing ring number. The method used Freon®-113 (1,1,2-trichloro-1,2,2-trifluoroethane) for rapid on-site extraction of PAH from 401, of water. Measured concentrations are extractable PAH, which may indicate the labile PAH available for uptake by aquatic organisms. Results show that aquatic organisms were exposed to relatively high extractable concentrations of the PAH of low ring number. © 1991.
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