Persistent Halogenated Organic Pollutants in Surface Water in a Megacity: Distribution Characteristics and Ecological Risks in Wuhan, China
Surface water pollution in megacities is strongly linked to human and environmental health, and surface water quality has deteriorated sharply recently because of increasing persistent halogenated organic pollutant (HOP) concentrations. In the present study, we collected 112 water samples from 14 lakes and 11 drinking water sources in Wuhan, China, and analyzed them for two typical groups of HOPs: polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). The mean values of the ΣPCB concentrations were 4.34 and 10.05 ng L−1 in winter and summer, respectively. For ΣPBDE concentrations, the mean values were 0.88 and 1.53 ng L−1 in winter and summer, respectively. The PCB and PBDE concentrations at most sites in summer were significantly higher than those in winter, probably because of heavy stormwater runoff in summer. The degree of urbanization predicted from the population density was positively correlated with ΣPCB concentrations in the drinking water sources in summer. PBDE and PCB composition analysis suggested the major sources were penta-BDE and Aroclor mixtures. Risk assessments showed the PBDEs in water from the Zhuankou site exceeded the threshold set by the European Union, which could result in adverse effects on aquatic organisms. Negligible noncarcinogenic risks were found for PCBs and PBDEs in the surface water with regard to drinking and bathing. However, the carcinogenic risks of PCBs for bathing in surface water were higher than the safe level of 1.00 × 10−6, implying that the surface water in Wuhan is not safe for bathing.
This project was supported by Natural Science Key Foundation of Hubei Province of China (Grant No. 2014CFA114) and the Hundred Talents Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. Y329671K01).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
- ATSDR (2015) Toxicological profile for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs): 4. Chemical and physical information. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, AtlantaGoogle Scholar
- Environment Canada (2013) Federal environmental quality guidelines polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)Google Scholar
- European Union (2013) Directive 2013/39/EU of the European parliament and of the council of 12 August 2013 amending directives 2000/60/EC and 2008/105/EC as regards priority substances in the field of water policyGoogle Scholar
- Fernández-González R, Yebra-Pimentel I, Martínez-Carballo E, Simal-Gándara J (2015) A critical review about human exposure to polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) through foods. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 55:1590–1617CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Ge J, Yun X, Liu M, Yang Y, Zhang M, Wang J (2014b) Distribution, potential source and ecotoxicological risk of polychlorinated biphenyls and polybrominated diphenyl ethers in the surface water of the Three Gorges Dam region of the Yangtze River, China. Ecotoxicology 23:978–987CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Mahmood A, Malik RN, Li J, Zhang G (2015) Distribution, congener profile, and risk of polybrominated diphenyl ethers and dechlorane plus in water and sediment from two tributaries of the Chenab River, Pakistan. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 68:83–91. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00244-014-0074-y CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People’s Republic of China (2002) Environmental quality standards for surface water (GB3838-2002)Google Scholar
- Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People’s Republic of China (2003) Building the capacity of the People’s Republic of China to implement the Stockholm convention on POPs and develop a National implementation plan GEF Project Brief (GF/CPR/02/010)Google Scholar
- Ministry of Health of the People’s Republic of China (2008) Health and family planning statistical yearbook of ChinaGoogle Scholar
- Omar WA, Mahmoud HM (2016) Risk assessment of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and trace metals in River Nile up-and downstream of a densely populated area. Environ Geochem Health 1–13Google Scholar
- Shen Z, Qi J, Niu J, Wang L, Tang Z, Feng J (2008) Characteristics of water pollution and ecological risk in typical middle reach of Yangtze River. Chinese Environ Sci Press, BeijingGoogle Scholar
- Standing CotNPsC (2013) Amendments of the new nine persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in “Stockholm Convention on POPs.” Bulletins of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress vol 5, pp 737–745Google Scholar
- USEPA (1989) Risk assessment guidance for superfund, volume I: Human Health Evaluation Manual (Part A). EPA/540/1-89/002Google Scholar
- USEPA (1996) Integrated Risk Information System. Quantitative Estimate of Carcinogenic Risk from Oral Exposure. https://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/iris2/chemicalLanding.cfm?substance_nmbr=294
- USEPA (2004) Risk assessment guidance for superfund, volume I: Human Health Evaluation Manual (Part E, Supplemental Guidance for Dermal Risk Assessment). EPA/540/R/99Google Scholar
- USEPA (2008) Integrated Risk Information System. Reference Dose for Oral Exposure. https://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/iris/search/index.cfm?keyword=PCB
- USEPA (2009) National Primary Drinking Water Regulations. United States Environmental Protection Agency. https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/table-regulated-drinking-water-contaminants
- Wuhan Environmental Protection Bureau (2006) The grade regulations of centralized surface drinking water sources conservation area in Wuhan. http://www.whepb.gov.cn/hbHjzlgnqlb/2623.jhtml
- Wuhan Environmental Protection Bureau (2009) Division regulations of centralized surface drinking water sources conservation area in Wuhan. http://www.whepb.gov.cn/hbHjzlgnqlb/2625.jhtml
- Wuhan Municipal Government (2015) Wuhan lakes protection regulation amendmentGoogle Scholar
- Wuhan Statistics Bureau (2014) Wuhan City statistical yearbook. Wuhan City Statistics Bureau, WuhanGoogle Scholar
- Wuhan Water Authority (2015) Records of Lakes in Wuhan. Changjiang Publishing Media and Hubei Fine Arts Publishing House, WuhanGoogle Scholar
- Xi Z, Chu S, Xu X, Zhang Y, Xu Y (1998) Determination of polychlorinated biphenyls in Donghu Lake. Oceanol Et Limnol Sin 29:436–440Google Scholar