Environmental Geochemistry and Health

, Volume 41, Issue 6, pp 2681–2695 | Cite as

Pesticides in the typical agricultural groundwater in Songnen plain, northeast China: occurrence, spatial distribution and health risks

  • Fuyang Huang
  • Zeyan Li
  • Chong Zhang
  • Théogène Habumugisha
  • Fei Liu
  • Ximing LuoEmail author
Original Paper


Songnen plain is an important commodity grain base of China, and this is the first study on the comprehensive detection of multiple pesticides in groundwater. Based on an analytical method of 56 pesticides, 30 groundwater samples were collected and analyzed. At least 4 pesticides were detected in each sample and 32 out of 56 pesticides were detected. The average detected levels of individual pesticides were approximately 10–100 ng/L. Organophosphorus pesticides and carbamate pesticides were the dominant pesticides, and their percentage of total pesticide concentrations were 35.9% and 55.5%, respectively. Based on the spatial distribution, the characteristic of nonpoint source pollution was indicated in the whole study area except for a point source pollution with the influence of a sewage oxidation pond. Nine core pesticides and three distinct clusters of the core pesticides with various concentration patterns were revealed by cluster analysis. Linear regression identified a significant relationship between the cumulative detections and the cumulative concentrations, providing access to identify the outlying contaminant events that deviate substantially from the linear trend. A new insight for prediction of pesticide occurrence was provided by the Pearson correlation between some individual pesticide concentrations and the cumulative detections or the cumulative concentrations. According to health risk assessment, the residual pesticides posed medium risks for children and infants and approximately 90% of risks were composed of β-HCH, dimethoate, ethyl-p-nitrophenyl phenylphosphonothioate and methyl parathion. These findings contributed to establishing a database for future monitoring and control of pesticides in agricultural areas.


Organochlorine pesticides Organophosphorus pesticides Carbamate pesticides Groundwater Songnen plain Risk assessment 



This work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41572229) and the China Geological Survey (DD20160312).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10653_2019_331_MOESM1_ESM.doc (6.5 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 6683 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fuyang Huang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zeyan Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Chong Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Théogène Habumugisha
    • 1
    • 2
  • Fei Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ximing Luo
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.MOE Key Laboratory of Groundwater Circulation and Environmental EvolutionChina University of Geosciences (Beijing)BeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Beijing Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Environmental EngineeringChina University of Geosciences (Beijing)BeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.School of Ocean SciencesChina University of Geosciences (Beijing)BeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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