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Nagy A.S.,Szechenyi Istvan University | Szabo J.,Szechenyi Istvan University | Vass I.,Nature Conservation and Water Management Inspectorate Laboratory
Environmental Science and Pollution Research | Year: 2013

The aim of this study was to compare and assess the dissolved concentrations of trace elements (As, Zn, Hg, Cd, Cr, Ni, Pb and Cu) in surface water of Marcal River before and after the red mud spill that occurred in Ajka, western Hungary, in October 2010. The caustic sludge flooded the surrounding settlements and polluted the nearby Torna Creek, which flows through the Marcal and Raba rivers into the Danube. A total of 92 surface water samples were collected from the Marcal River in the period of 2007-2012 and analysed for dissolved trace metal(loid)s by atomic absorption spectroscopy method. After the spill, the water management authority initially focused on acid dosing of surface waters to lower pH and was effective in lowering both pH and metal(loid) concentrations. Among the dissolved trace metal(loid)s, arsenic and nickel levels were moderately higher in the Marcal River 2 years since the spill compared to that observed in the pre-disaster period. The concentrations of dissolved trace metal(loid)s did not exceed the European water quality standards and the US Environmental Protection Agency aquatic life criteria values (excluding one sample for cadmium). © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Nagy A.S.,Szechenyi Istvan University | Simon G.,Szechenyi Istvan University | Szabo J.,Szechenyi Istvan University | Vass I.,Nature Conservation and Water Management Inspectorate Laboratory
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment | Year: 2013

This study was performed to elucidate the distribution, concentration trend and possible source of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in surface water and bed sediments of the Hungarian upper section of the Danube River and the Moson Danube branch. A total of 217 samples (water and sediments) were collected from four different sampling sites in the period of 2001-2010 and analysed for the 16 priority US Environmental Protection Agency PAHs. Concentrations of total 16 PAHs (ΣPAHs) in water samples ranged from 25 to 1,208 ng/L, which were predominated by two- and three-ring PAHs. The ΣPAH concentrations in sediments ranged from 8.3 to 1,202.5 ng/g dry weight. Four-ring PAHs including fluoranthene and pyrene were the dominant species in sediment samples. A selected number of concentration ratios of specific PAH compounds were calculated to evaluate the possible sources of PAH contamination. The ratios reflected a pattern of pyrogenic input as a major source of PAHs. The levels of PAHs determined were compared with other sections of the Danube and other regions of the world. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


Nagy A.S.,Szechenyi Istvan University | Szabo J.,Szechenyi Istvan University | Vass I.,Nature Conservation and Water Management Inspectorate Laboratory
Journal of Environmental Science and Health - Part A Toxic/Hazardous Substances and Environmental Engineering | Year: 2013

The objective of this study was to investigate the concentration level and distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in surface water of the Raba River; the largest Danube tributary in Hungary. A total of 54 water samples were collected in the period of 2008-2011 and analysed for PAHs by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS) method. The total PAH concentrations (sum of the concentrations of 17 individual PAH compounds) ranged from 41 to 437 ng/L with the mean value of 111 ± 69.4 ng/L. Phenanthrene and naphthalene were the dominant species in the surface water. Using TEF approaches on the mean concentration PAH data, benzo[a]pyrene and dibenz[ah]anthracene contributed the highest carcinogenic exposure equivalent. A selected number of concentration ratios of specific PAH compounds were calculated to evaluate the possible sources of PAH contamination. The ratios reflected a pattern of pyrogenic input as a major source of PAHs. The comparison of the total PAH concentrations observed for Raba River with other surface waters of the world confirmed that the Raba River could not be regarded as a contaminated river according to the levels of PAHs. © 2013 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


Nagy A.S.,Szechenyi Istvan University | Szabo J.,Szechenyi Istvan University | Vass I.,Nature Conservation and Water Management Inspectorate Laboratory
Journal of Environmental Science and Health - Part A Toxic/Hazardous Substances and Environmental Engineering | Year: 2014

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were identified and quantified in surface water and sediments from 9 sites in the Hungarian upper section of the Danube River and its tributaries in autumn 2012. The total PAH concentrations (sum of the concentrations of 17 individual PAH compounds) in water samples ranged from 67 to 96 ng L-1, which were predominated by two- and three-ring PAHs. The total PAH concentrations in sediments ranged from 35.2 to 288.3 ng g-1 dw. Four-ring PAHs including fluoranthene and pyrene were the dominant species in sediment samples. The spatial distribution of PAHs in sediments was site-specific. The highest benzo[a]pyrene equivalent concentration was determined at the site located near a hazardous waste incinerator. However, the comparison of the total PAH concentrations determined with other sections of the Danube River and the environmental quality standards revealed that the PAH concentrations are relatively low in the Hungarian upper section. A selected number of concentration ratios of specific PAH compounds reflected a pattern of pyrogenic input as a major source of PAHs. Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

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