Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 24, Issue 24, pp 19723–19732 | Cite as

Occurrence and risk assessment of phthalate esters (PAEs) in agricultural soils of the Sanjiang Plain, northeast China

  • He Wang
  • Hong Liang
  • Da-Wen GaoEmail author
Research Article


This study looks at the pollution status of six priority control phthalate esters (PAEs) under different cultivation of agricultural soils in the Sanjiang Plain, northeast China. Results show the total concentration of PAEs ranged from 162.9 to 946.9 μg kg−1 with an average value of 369.5 μg kg−1. PAE concentrations in three types of cultivated soils exhibited decreasing order paddy field (532.1 ± 198.1 μg kg−1) > vegetable field (308.2 ± 87.5 μg kg−1) > bean field (268.2 ± 48.3 μg kg−1). Di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and di-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP) were the most abundant PAEs congeners. Compared with previous studies, agricultural soils in the Sanjiang Plain showed relatively low contamination levels. Anthropogenic activities such as cultivation practices and industrial emissions were associated with the distribution pattern of PAEs. Furthermore, human health risks of PAEs were estimated and the non-cancer risk shown negligible but carcinogenic risk of DEHP exceeded the threshold limits value. PAE contaminants originated from cultivation practices and intense anthropogenic activities result in placing the agricultural soils under a potential risk to human health and also to ecosystems in the Sanjiang Plain. Therefore, the contamination status of PAEs in agricultural soil and potential impacts on human health should attract considerable attention.


Phthalate ester Agricultural soils Risk assessment Sanjiang Plain Northeast China 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31470543).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Ecological ResearchNortheast Forestry UniversityHarbinChina
  2. 2.School of ForestryNortheast Forestry UniversityHarbinChina

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