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Spatial distributions, source apportionment and ecological risk of SVOCs in water and sediment from Xijiang River, Pearl River Delta

Abstract

Xijiang River is an important drinking water source in Guangxi Province, China. Along the Xijiang River and surrounding tributary, the pollution profile of three important groups of semi-volatile organic compounds, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and phthalate esters (PAEs), was analyzed. Relatively low levels of PAHs (64–3.7 × 102 ng L−1) and OCPs (16–70 ng L−1), but high levels of PAEs (7.9 × 102–6.8 × 103 ng L−1) occurred in the water. Comparatively, low levels of OCPs (39–1.8 × 102 ng g−1) and PAEs (21–81 ng g−1), but high levels of PAHs (41–1.1 × 103 ng g−1) were found in sediment. Principal component analyses for source identification indicated petroleum-derived residues or coal and biomass combustion, and vehicular emission was the main sources for PAHs. The OCPs sources of each category were almost independent, whereas the new input of HCHs and p,p′-DDTs probably existed in some areas. PAEs were mainly originated from personal care products of urban sewage, plastic and other industrial sources. Ecological risk through the risk quotient analysis indicated a small or significant potential adverse effect on fish, daphnia and green algae. Nevertheless, the integrated risk of all pollutants should be taken into account in future study.

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Acknowledgements

Authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from NSFC-Guangdong Joint Funds (U1201234) and NSFC (41373103 and 41425015).

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Correspondence to Guiying Li.

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Tang, J., An, T., Li, G. et al. Spatial distributions, source apportionment and ecological risk of SVOCs in water and sediment from Xijiang River, Pearl River Delta. Environ Geochem Health 40, 1853–1865 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10653-017-9929-2

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Keywords

  • Xijiang River
  • PAHs
  • OCPs
  • PAEs
  • Ecological risks