Frontiers of Earth Science

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 248–258 | Cite as

Organochlorine pesticide residues in surface water from Sichuan Basin to Aba Prefecture profile, east of the Tibetan Plateau

  • Hongxia Liu
  • Ying Hu
  • Shihua Qi
  • Xinli Xing
  • Yuan Zhang
  • Dan Yang
  • Chengkai Qu
Research Article


Organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) found in rivers from the Sichuan Basin to Aba Prefecture profile were analyzed to assess possible health risks to adults and children who use the river as a source of drinking water. OCP concentrations in surface water ranged between 22.29–274.28 ng·L−1. Compared with other published data around the world, OCP levels in this study were moderate. Among all OCPs, hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs) were the predominant compounds. Higher concentrations of OCPs were attributed close to the agricultural fields of the Sichuan Basin, current OCPs inputs, and long-range atmospheric transport from abroad. Various spatial patterns of OCPs in the profile might be affected by the usage and physicochemical properties of the pesticides, in addition to the adjacent geographical environment. The health risk assessment indicated that most OCPs had little impact on human health according to the acceptable risk level for carcinogens (10−6) recommended by the US EPA. However, carcinogenic effects caused by heptachlor, Aldrin, HCB, and α-HCH might occur in drinking water. The risk of negative impacts caused by OCPs is much higher for children than for adults.


organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) surface water spatial distribution health risk assessment Tibetan Plateau 


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Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hongxia Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ying Hu
    • 1
  • Shihua Qi
    • 1
  • Xinli Xing
    • 1
  • Yuan Zhang
    • 1
  • Dan Yang
    • 3
  • Chengkai Qu
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Biogeology and Environmental Geology, School of Environmental StudiesChina University of GeosciencesWuhanChina
  2. 2.Hubei Key Laboratory of Mine Environmental Pollution Control & Remediation, School of Environmental Science and EngineeringHubei Polytechnic UniversityHuangshiChina
  3. 3.Faculty of EngineeringChina University of GeosciencesWuhanChina

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