Distribution, source, and environmental risk assessment of phthalate esters (PAEs) in water, suspended particulate matter, and sediment of a typical Yangtze River Delta City, China.


School of the Environment and Safety Engineering, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, 212013, People's Republic of China. [Email]


Phthalates (PAEs) in drinking water sources such as the Yangtze River in developing countries had aroused widespread concern. Here, the water, suspended particulate matter (SPM), and sediment samples were collected from 15 sites in wet and dry seasons in Zhenjiang, for the determination of six PAEs (DMP, DEP, DIBP, DBP, DEHP, and DOP) using the solid-phase extraction (SPE) or ultrasonic extraction coupled with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The total concentrations of six PAEs (Σ6PAEs) spanned a range of 2.65-39.31 μg L-1 in water, 1.97-34.10 μg g-1 in SPM, and 0.93-34.70 μg g-1 in sediment. The partition coefficients (Kd1) of PAEs in water and SPM phase ranged from 0.004 to 3.36 L g-1 in the wet season and from 0.12 to 2.84 L g-1 in the dry season. Kd2 of PAEs in water and sediment phase was 0.001-9.75 L g-1 in the wet season and 0.006-8.05 L g-1 in the dry season. The dominant PAEs were DIBP, DBP, and DEHP in water and SPM, DIBP, DEHP, and DOP in sediment. The concentration of DBP in water exceeded the China Surface Water Standard. The discharge of domestic sewage and industrial wastewater might be the main potential sources of PAEs. The risk quotient (RQ) method used for the risk assessment revealed that DBP (0.01 < RQ < 1) posed a medium risk, while DIBP and DEHP (RQ > 1) posed a high environmental risk in water, DIBP (RQ > 1) also showed a high risk in sediment.


Distribution,Phase partition,Phthalates,Risk assessment,Source,

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