Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Products in Surface Waters from the Inner City of Beijing, China: Influence of Hospitals and Reclaimed Water Irrigation

  • Guo-Hui LuEmail author
  • Hai-Tao Piao
  • Nan Gai
  • Peng-Wei Shao
  • Yu Zheng
  • Xing-Chun Jiao
  • Zhu Rao
  • Yong-Liang Yang


Surface waters from five districts in the inner city of Beijing were collected for analysis of 43 target compounds of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) to understand the spatial distribution patterns of different groups of PPCPs in the central urban area of a metropolitan city characterized by many hospitals and public parks. The total concentrations of PPCPs showed large spatial variability, ranging from 71.1 to 2400 ng/L. The x-ray contrast medium iopromide was the compound with the highest concentrations. Pharmaceuticals showed similar spatial distributional patterns with large hospitals. Positive correlations between iopromide and pharmaceuticals were observed. In contrast, in general there is no correlation between iopromide and personal care products. The concentrations of PPCPs in the landscape waters were not high but were characterized by high proportions of acidic, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with low or even negative removal efficiencies in the WWTP in Beijing, suggesting that the reclaimed water irrigation can be another source of PPCPs in surface waters in the inner city of Beijing.



This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41673022).

Supplementary material

244_2018_578_MOESM1_ESM.docx (54 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 55 kb)


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Eco-Geochemistry, Ministry of Natural Resources of ChinaNational Research Center for Geo-analysis (NRCGA)BeijingChina
  2. 2.China Institute of Geo-Environment Monitoring (CIGEM)BeijingChina
  3. 3.College of Environmental Sciences and EngineeringQingdao UniversityQingdaoChina

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