Ambient Water Quality Criteria For Polycyclic Aromatic
Hydrocarbons (PAHs)

1.0 INTRODUCTION
2.0 PAHs and THEIR CHARACTERISTICS
3.0 FORMS AND TRANSFORMATIONS
4.0 OCCURRENCE in the ENVIRONMENT
5.0 RAW DRINKING WATER
6.0 AQUATIC LIFE
7.0 WILDLIFE
8.0 LIVESTOCK WATER SUPPLY
9.0 IRRIGATION
10.0 OTHER WATER USES
11.0 RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT NEEDS
12.0 LITERATURE CITED

LIST OF TABLES

Table 1 Physical-chemical characteristics of some PAHs
Table 2 Production, uses, and producers of PAHs
Table 3 Biodegradation of PAHs in water, sediment, and soils
Table 4 PAH concentrations in crude oil and two distillate fuel oils
Table 5 Major sources of PAHs in the atmospheric and aquatic environments
Table 6 Concentrations of PAHs in surface waters of the Great Lakes water system
Table 7 Distribution of PAHs in marine and estuarine waters
Table 8 Ranges of mean PAH concentrations in the Vancouver Harbour sediments
Table 9 Average background concentrations of PAHs in 2 New York lakes sediments
Table 10 Maximum concentrations of PAHs in the Fraser River and Boundary Bay sediments, in British Columbia
Table 11 PAH concentrations in commercial shellfish from British Columbia
Table 12 PAH concentrations in Dungeness crab tissue samples from Vancouver Harbour in 1986 and 1988
Table 13 PAH concentrations in muscle and liver tissues of the Fraser River fish samples
Table 14 Human exposure to PAHs
Table 15 PAH criteria for drinking water from various jurisdictions
Table 16 Lethal and acute toxicity of PAHs to freshwater aquatic life
Table 17 Sublethal and chronic toxicity of PAHs to freshwater algae and plants
Table 18 Sublethal and chronic toxicity of PAHs to freshwater animals
Table 19 Photo-induced toxicity of PAHs to freshwater animals
Table 20 Phototoxicity classification of selected PAHs based on lethal response of Daphnia magna and Pimephales promelas
Table 21 Lethal toxicity of PAHs to marine and estuarine aquatic life
Table 22 Sublethal and chronic toxicity of PAHs to marine and estuarine animals
Table 23 Bioconcentration factors (BCF) of PAHs in freshwater animals
Table 24 Bioconcentration factors (BCF) of PAHs in marine and estuarine animals
Table 25 PAH criteria for aquatic life from other jurisdictions
Table 26 Recommended interim freshwater and marine water quality criteria
Table 27 Recommended interim sediment quality criteria
Table 28 Lowest observed effect levels and application factors used in the derivation of water quality criteria to protect aquatic life from long-term effects of PAHs
Table 29 B[a]P concentration in smoked fish and shellfish
Table 30 Recommended water quality and sediment quality criteria, and minimum detectable PAH concentrations

LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 1 Structure and numbering of selected PAHs
Figure 2 Selected rules to numbering of PAHs and organic molecules
Figure 3 Photolysis products of 9,10-dimethyl anthracene and benzo[a]pyrene
Figure 4 PAH toxicity (LC50s) to aquatic life
Figure 5 Comparison of sediment criteria

Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks
Province of British Columbia

N. K. Nagpal, Ph.D.
Water Quality Branch
Water Management Division

February, 1993

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The author is indebted to the following individual and agencies for providing valuable comments during the preparation of this document.

Dr. Ray Copes BC. Ministry of Health, Victoria, BC.
Dr. G. R. Fox Environmental Protection Div., BC. MOELP, Victoria, BC.
Mr. L. W. Pommen Water Quality Branch, BC. MOELP, Victoria, BC.
Mr. R. J. Rocchini Water Quality Branch, BC. MOELP, Victoria, BC.
Ms. Sherry Smith Eco-Health Branch, Conservation and Protection, Environment Canada, Hull, Quebec
Mr. Scott Teed Eco-Health Branch, Conservation and Protection, Environment Canada, Hull, Quebec
Ms. Bev Raymond Integrated Programs Branch, Inland Waters, Environment Canada, North Vancouver, BC.