Aliağa Bay is one of the most important maritime zones of Turkey where shipping activity, shipbreaking industry, steel works and petrochemical complexes exist together. Concentrations of heavy metals and organic carbon in sediment of the Aliağa Bay were investigated to evaluate an environmental risk assessment from metals contamination in 2009–2010. Comparison of the metal concentrations with average shale and Mediterranean background levels revealed that most of the samples from the Aliağa were polluted with Hg, Cd, Pb, Cr, Cu, Zn, Mn and Ni. It was found that Hg, Pb, Cu, Zn and Ni levels in Aliağa Bay exceeded the PEL values. Sediments, contaminated with Pb, Cr, Cu, Zn and Ni were considered as heavily polluted per the SQG.
► This is the first study information about pollution of heavy metals in sediment of the Aliağa Bay.
► Sediment were investigated to evaluate an environmental risk assessment from metals contamination.
► The TEL/PEL analysis suggests that sediments were likely to be contaminated by heavy metals.
► The metal pollution are due to unmanaged shipping activity, shipbreaking industry, steel works and petrochemical complex in Aliağa Bay.
Ship recycling; Metal pollution; Sediments enrichment factor; Sediment quality guidelines; Aliağa Bay