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Distribution and fate of synthetic musks in the Songhua River, Northeastern China: influence of environmental variables

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Abstract

Contamination levels and spatial and temporal distributions of six typical synthetic musks (SMs) in water and sediment of the Songhua River in Northeastern China were investigated. Experimental data for 72 water and 52 sediment samples collected at 29 sampling sites over 12 months spanning 2011–2012 showed that the Songhua River had been contaminated to different degrees at various sites separately from the river’s source. The polycyclic musks 1,3,4,6,7,8-hexahydro-4,6,6,7,8,8-hexamethylcyclopenta-(g)-2-benzopyran (HHCB) (Galaxolide) and 7-acetyl-1,1,3,4,4,6-hexamethyl-1,2,3,4-tetrahydronaphthalene (AHTN) (Tonalide) were found most frequently and at the highest levels. Concentrations of HHCB were <2–37 ng/L in water and <0.5–17.5 ng/g dry weight (dw) in sediment. AHTN was <1–8 ng/L in water and <0.5–5.7 ng/g dw in sediment. Statistical relationships between SM concentrations and four environmental variables (temperature, illumination, runoff, and population density) in the Songhua River Basin were formulated. Concentration levels varied proportionately with the size of the city along the river, while the distribution patterns showed clear seasonal variations. HHCB/AHTN ratios mirrored the transfer and transmitting process of SMs. Concentrations of target compounds were correlated with each other, suggesting similar exposure sources. Environmental risk assessment of SMs presented seasonal variations and provided baseline information on SM exposure in the Songhua River Basin.

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the National Major Science and Technology Projects for Water Pollution Control and Governance (2009ZX07207-008-5-2), the National Creative Research Groups of China (51121062), and the National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars (51125033). We wish to thank the Harbin Station of Environmental Monitoring, Heilongjiang Province, China, for river runoff data and sampling of water and sediment.

Conflict of interest

All authors have disclosed any actual or potential conflict of interest including any financial, personal, or other relationships with other people or organizations within 3 years of beginning the submitted work that could inappropriately influence, or be perceived to influence, their work.

Author information

Correspondence to Yujie Feng.

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Responsible editor: Leif Kronberg

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Lu, B., Feng, Y., Gao, P. et al. Distribution and fate of synthetic musks in the Songhua River, Northeastern China: influence of environmental variables. Environ Sci Pollut Res 22, 9090–9099 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-014-3973-6

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Keywords

  • Synthetic musk
  • Spatial and temporal distribution
  • Fate
  • Risk assessment
  • Surface water and sediment