Increased synthetic chemical production and diversification in developing countries caused serious aquatic pollution worldwide with emerging organic pollutants (EOPs) detected in surface water rising health concerns to human and aquatic ecosystem even at low ng/L concentration with long-term exposure. The Yangtze River Delta (YRD) area serves agriculture and industry for people in eastern China. However, the current knowledge on the occurrence and ecological risk of diverse EOPs which are present in the aquatic environment is limited. This study was to investigate the complexity and diversity of EOPs in surface water from 28 sampling sites, which were selected to represent urban, industrial or agriculture areas in the YRD area. In total 484 chemicals were analyze by a target screening approach using liquid chromatography coupled to high-resolution tandem mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS/MS). 181 out of 484 EOPs were detected at least one site in the YRD area, and 44 analytes, mostly industrial chemicals and pesticides, were ubiquitous at all sampling sites. Most EOPs were industrial chemicals with 1H-benzotriazole and organophosphate flame retardants (PFRs) as the chemicals with highest concentrations. For 21 pesticides, mostly herbicides, maximum concentrations of atrazine and isoproturon were above the annual average environmental quality standards of Europe. Amantadine and DEET were the dominant pharmceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in the YRD area. Compared to urban areas (mostly in Qinhuai River), chemical profiles from industrial areas were more complex. Industrial activities likely have a strong impact on the composition of chemical mixtures in surface water from the YRD area. ISO E Super, 4-methylbenzylidene camphor and clotrimazole detected in this study are potentially persistent and bioaccumulative chemicals. Furthermore, results of risk assessment showed that hazard quotients of dimethyldioctadecylammonium, didecyldimethylammonium and octocrylene were higher than one and occur frequently, which indicates possibly adverse effects on fish species in the YRD area.
Keywords: Emerging pollutants; Industrial chemicals; Risk assessment; YRD area.
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