The distribution, sources, and human health risk assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in surface sediment and the edible tissue of short-neck clam (Paphia undulata) from mudflat ecosystem in the west coast of Malaysia were investigated. The concentrations of ∑16 PAHs varied from 347.05 to 6207.5 and 179.32 to 1657.5 ng g-1 in sediment and short-neck clam samples, respectively. The calculations of mean PEL quotients (mean-PELQs) showed that the ecological risk of PAHs in the sediment samples was low to moderate-high level, whereas the total health risk through ingestion and dermal contact was considerably high. The PAHs biota sediment accumulation factors data for short-neck clam were obtained in this study, indicating a preferential accumulation of lower molecular weight PAHs. The source apportionment of PAHs in sediment using positive matrix factorization model indicated that the highest contribution to the PAHs was from diesel emissions (30.38%) followed by oil and oil derivate and incomplete coal combustion (23.06%), vehicular emissions (16.43%), wood combustion (15.93%), and natural gas combustion (14.2%). A preliminary evaluation of human health risk using chronic daily intake, hazard index, benzo[a]pyrene-equivalent (BaPeq) concentration, and the incremental lifetime cancer risk indicated that PAHs in short-neck clam would induce potential carcinogenic effects in the consumers.
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