Spatial-temporal distribution and potential ecological risk assessment of nonylphenol and octylphenol in riverine outlets of Pearl River Delta, China

Ru Chen , Pinghe Yin , Ling Zhao , Qiming Yu , Aihua Hong , Shunshan Duan


Received June 12, 2014,Revised October 15, 2014, Accepted , Available online November 20, 2014

Volume 26,2014,Pages 2340-2347

The aquatic environments of the Pearl River Delta in Southern China are subjected to contamination with various industrial chemicals from local industries. In this paper, the occurrence, seasonal variation and spatial distribution of alkylphenol octylphenol (OP) and nonylphenol (NP) in river surface water and sediments in the runoff outlets of the Pearl River Delta were investigated. NP and OPwere detected in all water and sediment samples and their mean concentrations in surface water during the dry season ranged from810 to 3366 ng/L and 85.5 to 581 ng/L, respectively, and those in sediments ranged from14.2 to 95.2 ng/g dw and 0.4 to 3.0 ng/g dw, respectively. In surfacewater,much higher concentrations were detected in the dry season than those in the wet season. In sediments, the concentrations in the dry season were also mostly higher. High concentrations of NP and OP were found in Humen outlet, likely due to high levels of domestic and industrial wastewater discharges. An ecological risk assessment with the use of hazard quotient (HQ) was also carried out and theHQvalues ranged from3.6×10-5 to 35 and 64% of samples gave a HQ>1, indicating that the current levels of NP and OP pose a significant risk to the relevant aquatic organisms in the region.

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