Occurrence and risk assessment of persistent organic pollutants in a branch of the Grand Canal in Hangzhou, China

  • Quan Zhang
  • Ximing Wang
  • Jianqiang Zhu
  • Zhe Li
  • Ye Wang


The Grand Canal is one of the most important waterways and sources of drinking water in China. The security of this water environment has a strong influence on national economic development and public health. However, data on the pollution status and potential risks due to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in this area is insufficient. In this study, we selected a branch of the Grand Canal in Hangzhou as the study subject from which 16 surface water samples were collected in the summer of 2016. The concentrations of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) (including 4 hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs) and 6 dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes (DDTs)), 12 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and 35 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the water samples were determined by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Non-carcinogenic risk, carcinogenic risk, and cytotoxicity experiments were conducted to evaluate the potential health risks due to these POPs. Additionally, the toxicological data for the Danio rerio aquatic organism from the US EPA were employed for comparison with the residue from POPs in this area. The results showed that the total concentrations of HCHs, DDTs, PCBs, and PAHs were 29.937, 60.2, 8.30, and 1670.2 ng/L, respectively. Some pollutants (including acenaphthene and acenaphthylene, hepta-PCBs and tetra-PCBs, octa-PCBs and hexa-PCBs, β-HCH and α-HCH, and δ-HCH and γ-HCH) showed a correlation, which indicated they might have a similar origin. There were no non-carcinogenic risks or ecological risks for adults, children, and aquatic organisms, but a relatively low carcinogenic risk for adults presented at certain sites. The data provided here will be helpful in fully understanding the pollution status of the surface water in this branch of the Grand Canal and the potential risks from this water.

Graphical abstract


Persistent organic pollutants Ecological risks Non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic risks Cytotoxicity 


Funding information

This study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21777147, 21677130, and 21577129).

Supplementary material

10661_2018_6572_MOESM1_ESM.doc (500 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 499 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Microbial Technology for Industrial Pollution Control of Zhejiang Province, College of EnvironmentZhejiang University of TechnologyHangzhouChina

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