National investigation of semi-volatile organic compounds (PAHs, OCPs, and PCBs) in lake sediments of China: Occurrence, spatial variation and risk assessment

Chaocan Li, Shouliang Huo, Zhiqiang Yu, Beidou Xi, Kevin M. Yeager, Zhuoshi He, Chunzi Ma, Jingtian Zhang, Fengchang Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this study, a large scale investigation of semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) in sediments from 52 lakes, located in five geographic regions across China, was conducted to assess sediment quality in terms of organic contaminants. Concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in sediment were found to range between 17.00–6,633, 0.12–45.24, and 0.03–13.99 ng g− 1, respectively. Lake sediments from different regions exhibited variation in contamination levels, and in the compositions of isomers. The descending order of contamination levels for the three SVOCs groups (i.e., ∑ PAHs, ∑ OCPs, ∑ PCBs) were as follows: the eastern plain region (EPR) > the Yunnan-Guizhou plateau (YGP) > the northeast China region (NCR) > the Qinghai-Tibet plateau (QTP) > the Mongolia-Xinjiang plateau (MXP). High molecular weight PAHs, OCPs and PCBs were found at high concentrations in parts of the EPR and YGP, while lighter isomers were likely to be atmospherically transported, resulting in their nationwide distribution. The sources and type variation (local input or atmospheric deposition) are the primary controls of spatial variation. Additionally, human related socio-economic factors, and geographic conditions also played important roles in influencing the spatial differentiation. According to simple sediment quality guidelines (SQG), the risks posed by PCBs in sediments were not as serious as those posed by PAHs and DDT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-336
Number of pages12
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume579
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords

  • Human impact
  • Risk assessment
  • SVOCs
  • Spatial variation
  • Toc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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