A probabilistic risk assessment of the selected herbicides (diuron and prometryn) in the Gwydir River catchment was conducted, with the input of the EC?? values derived from both literature and a novel bioassay. Laboratory test based on growth of algae exposed to herbicides assayed with a microplate reader was used to examine the toxicity of diuron and prometryn on the growth of Chlorella vulgaris. Both herbicides showed concentration dependent toxicity in inhibiting the growth of Chlorella during the exposure period of 18-72 h. Diuron caused more toxicity as judged by growth rates than prometryn. Thalaba Creek at Merrywinebone was identified as the 'hotspot' for diuron and prometryn risk in the Gwydir catchment. The use of microplate assays coupled with probabilistic risk assessment is recommended for rapid assessment of ecotoxicity of indigenous species, allowing identification of locations in river catchments requiring environmental management.
Urban water scarcity has been an issue for a long time in China while water pollution has attracted more and more attention over the last two decades. Recently, on-site wastewater treatment (OST) has been proposed as a meaningful alternative to deal with both water pollution and water scarcity in cities in a more sustainable way. However, the diffusion of such an OST system is still slow and often hindered by mismatched regulation, city planning and policy interventions. This paper is intended to explore potential solutions from institutional and governance perspectives. Based on expert interviews and in-depth analysis of an OST system in Kunming, an improved trajectory for diffusing OST in urban China is developed, which includes reformed decision-making and operational procedures, role transition of relevant stakeholders, and improved financing mechanisms. The results might give some suggestions for the transition of urban water management in other newly industrializing countries.
The occurrence of ?HCHs, ?DDTs, protozoa abundance and their community structure in surface soils of orchards, vegetable lands, and barren lands in northern west outskirts of Beijing were detected in order to investigate the protozoa responses to low dose organic chlorinated Pesticides (OCPs) after long-term field-based exposure. Significant differences in total concentrations of HCHs and DDTs were found among the three general groups ranking in decreasing order of concentration from orchard>vegetable lands >barren lands. Ciliate was the rare group in surface soils of all the sampling groups. The abundance of flagellate, ciliate, and amoebae in vegetable soils were significantly higher than those in orchard soils. The abundance of all the taxa of protozoa was strongly negative correlated with the residue level of ?HCHs and ?DDTs (P<0.05) in agricultural soils. However, no negative correlation between the residue levels of OCPs and protozoa abundance was shown in both the orchard and the barren soils. This field study demonstrated a considerable long-term impact of the OCPs residue on the abundance of protozoa in soils, and that the abundance of soil protozoa was much more influenced by land use type in association with different soil properties.
Soil is an important environmental medium that is closely associated with humans and their health. Despite this, very few studies have measured toxicants in soils, and associated them with health risks in humans. An assessment of health effects from exposure to contaminants in soils surrounding industrial areas of chemical production and storage is important. This article aims at determining pollution characteristics of persistent toxic substances (PTS) in an industrial area in China to unravel the relationship between soil pollution by PTS and human health. One hundred and five soil samples were collected and 742 questionnaires were handed out to residents living in and around an industrial area around Bohai Bay, Tianjin in Northern China. Concentrations of organochlorine pesticides and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were determined in soil. Mann-Whitney U and binary multivariate non-conditional logistic regression models were employed to analyze the relationship between health indicators of local residents and contaminant levels. Odds ratio (OR) and a 95% confidence interval (CI) for health incidences were also calculated. The average concentrations of DDT (73.9 ng/g), HCH (654 ng/g) and PAHs (1225 ng/g) were relatively high in the industrial area. Residents living in the chemical industry parks were exposed to a higher levels of PTS than those living outside the chemical industry parks. This exposure was associated with a higher risk of breast cancer (OR 1.87, 95% CI 0.12-30.06), stomach cancer (OR 1.87, 95% CI 0.26-13.41), dermatitis (OR 1.72, 95% CI 1.05-2.80), gastroenteritis (OR 1.59, 95% CI 0.94-2.68), and pneumonia (OR 1.05, 95% CI 0.58-1.89).
Spatial variability and temporal trends in concentrations of the organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), in surface soils around Beijing Guanting Reservoir (GTR) were studied in 2003 and 2007. Concentrations of the two OCPs in soils around GTR were generally less than reference values set by the Chinese government for the protection of agricultural production and human health. Among the OCPs, ?-HCH and p, p-DDE were the two predominant compounds. This result indicates that the HCH and DDT residues in soils were primarily from historical use. Based on kriging, a spatial distribution of HCH and DDT around the GTR was observed. Spatial variability indicated how HCH and DDT had been applied and been distributed in the past. Between 2003 and 2007, concentrations of HCH and DDT decreased more rapidly in orchard soils than those in fallow soils.
Fifty-seven typical surface soils and 108 deeper soils were collected from five former industrial sites in Beijing and concentrations of total Hg (SigmaHg) as well as pH, total carbon (TC), total nitrogen (TN), total sulfur, and dissolved organic carbon concentrations determined. The mean concentration of SigmaHg in surface soils was significantly greater than background concentrations in the vicinity of Beijing. Forty-eight percent of the samples exceeded the "critical" concentration of 1.0 mg Hg/kg, dry weight in soils, which has been established by the Chinese government. At depths of 0-80 cm in the soil, profile concentrations of SigmaHg also exceeded the background value. There were significant correlations between concentrations of SigmaHg, TC, and TN in the industrial soils. The greater concentration of SigmaHg in most soils could have been due in part to combustion of coal and leakage from industrial processes.
Concentrations of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs; dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes (DDTs), hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), hexachlorobenzene (HCB)) were investigated in 105 soil samples collected in vicinity of the chemical industrial parks in Tianjin, China. OCP concentrations significantly varied in the study area, high HCH and DDT levels were found close to the chemical industrial parks. The intensity of agricultural activity and distance from the potential OCP emitters have important influences on the OCP residue distributions. Principal component analysis indicates that HCH pollution is a mix of historical technical HCH and current lindane pollution and DDT pollution input is only due to technical DDT sources. The significant correlations of OCP compounds reveal that HCHs, DDTs and HCB could have some similar sources of origin.
Concentrations and distributions of cadmium, copper, and lead in soils from several industrialized urban areas of Beijing, China were investigated. The mean concentration of Cd in surface soils was not significantly greater than the regional background concentration, while those of Cu and Pb were significantly greater than regional background concentrations. All soil profiles exhibited a decreasing trend in concentrations of Cd, Cu, and Pb with depth. Concentrations of Cu and Pb were greatest at a depth of 0-80 cm, and exceeded the regional concentrations. Concentrations of Cd, Cu, and Pb at some industrial sites would necessitate active remedial actions.
A systematic survey of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) residues in soils around reservoirs that supply water to Beijing, China, has been lacking. 104 representative surface soil samples were collected around Guanting Reservoir (GTR) and Miyun Reservoir (MYR) in Beijing watershed to characterize concentrations and sources of organochlorine pesticides, hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT). Compared with other studies of OCPs in soils and with the Chinese environmental quality standard for soil, the concentrations of OCP were relatively lower in soils around the watershed. The results indicated that past agricultural application of OCPs was the major source of OCP residues in the watershed.
This article summarizes the published scientific data on sources, levels and human exposure of hexachlorobenzene (HCB) in China. Potential sources of unintended HCB emission were assessed by production information, emission factors and environmental policies. HCB was observed in various environmental compartments in China. HCB levels increased from South China to North China in most of environmental compartments (air, soil and mussel). Some hotspots were identified near the factories producing and using HCB. In terms of spatial distribution, HCB concentrations in air and shellfish showed much variation, which indicated some primary emission sources in China. HCB levels in air and human milk in China were relatively higher than those in other countries, but HCB levels in other compartments were similar to those in Europe and other countries in Eastern Asia. In the limited studies on temporal trends of HCB levels in China, HCB concentrations in air, sediment, fish and human milk did not show a consistent downward trend. Although HCB levels in food and human milk does not pose a health risk in China at present, long-term exposure to HCB should not be overlooked.
The factors that influence the dynamics of hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) in soils around the watersheds of Beijing reservoirs were examined. Compared with other studies on HCH and DDT in soils and established reference values, the concentrations of HCH and DDT in soils around our study area were relatively low. The relationships between HCH and DDT concentrations and land use, soil texture, and soil properties were discussed. HCH and DDT concentrations were higher in arable soils than those in uncultivated fallow soils. Although land use was the most important factor affecting HCH and DDT residues, additional factors such as soil texture and soil total organic carbon were also involved in pesticide retention in soils. The results indicated that the historical agricultural applications of HCH and DDT were the major source of their residues. Atmospheric deposition, as well as long-distance transportation and inputs from surrounding weathered agricultural soils may also serve as important sources of HCH and DDT residues in the watersheds.
The origin and occurrence of organochlorine pesticides [OCPs; hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs) and 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2- bis(p-chlorophenyl) ethane (DDTs)] in the surface and profile of soils from former OCPs production areas were compared with those of agricultural plots in Beijing, China in order to identify their characteristics, assess the eco-toxicological risk, and provide management suggestions. The comparison indicated heavier contamination caused by the production, storage, and waste disposal than the application of OCPs. Concentrations of HCHs and DDTs in topsoils varied by several orders of magnitude among different land-use groups. The concentrations (ng/g dry soil, geometric means) of HCHs (1958.2) and DDTs (3998.2) in the topsoils of former OCPs production factories were significantly higher than those in agricultural soils. The residue of DDTs and HCHs accumulated only on the surface of agricultural soil, but at depths ranging from 0 to 400 cm for the OCPs plant and warehouse. beta-HCH and p,p-DDE dominated in the agricultural soils, whereas beta-HCH, gamma-HCH, p,p-DDT, and p,p-DDE were dominant in the industrial soils. The risk of examined OCPs in soils on human health was assessed in light of the Dutch and Canadian soil quality criteria, and the results indicated a high risk in the OCPs production factory area and the agricultural lands with large application. The results point to the need for urgent actions to evaluate long-term toxicity and preassessment for OCPs-related land-use management.
The concentrations of 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were determined by gas chromatography equipped with a mass spectrometry detector in 105 topsoil samples from an industrial area around Bohai Bay, Tianjin in the North of China. Results demonstrated that concentrations of PAHs in 104 soil samples from this area ranged from 68.7 to 5,590 ng g(-1) dry weight with a mean of summation Sigma16PAHs 814 +/- 813 ng g(-1), which suggests that there exists mid to high levels of PAH contamination. The concentration of summation Sigma16PAHs in one soil sample from Tianjin Port was exceptionally high (48,700 ng g(-1)). Ninety-three of the 105 soil samples were considered to be contaminated with PAHs (>200 ng g(-1)), and 25 were heavily polluted (>1,000 ng g(-1)). The sites with high PAHs concentration are mainly distributed around chemical industry parks and near highways. Two low molecular weight PAHs, naphthalene and phenanthrene, were the dominant components in the soil samples, which accounted for 22.1% and 10.7% of the summation Sigma16PAHs concentration, respectively. According to the observed molecular indices, house heating in winter, straw stalk combustion in open areas after harvest, and petroleum input were common sources of PAHs in this area, while factory discharge and vehicle exhaust were the major sources around chemical industrial parks and near highways. Biological processes were probably another main source of low molecular weight PAHs.
Topsoil samples (n = 105) were collected to study the distribution of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) residues in the vicinity of chemical industrial parks in Tianjin, China. The occurrence and distribution of target organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) were mapped to identify the spatial variation using Geographical Information System (GIS). In general, the concentrations of OCPs were higher in soils near the industrial parks, even some hotspots showed very high OCP contaminations which could cause ecological risk. The relationships between contaminant concentrations and other factors (land use and soil properties) were discussed. Significant correlations (P < 0.01) between TOC contents and the concentrations of DDTs, alpha-HCH, and beta-HCH indicated the effect of organic carbon on OCP distribution. Soil pH levels had no obvious effect on the OCP distributions. Except for the effects of the industrial parks, the capacities of biodegradation and dissipation of soils under different land uses were the important factors that affected the HCH distribution, but the distribution of DDTs was mainly influenced by the TOC levels. The results of this study can provide some evidences and data on the long term effects of industrial activities in the environment even after the cease of operations for a long time.
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), used as flame retardants (BFRs), are incorporated in plastics of most electronic equipment. Among BFR mixtures, deca-BDE is the most widely used commercial additive in the polymer industry and the use of deca-BDE is currently not subject to any restrictions in China. However, debate over environmental and health risks associated with deca-BDE still remains. Regulatory agencies in developed countries have adopted and/or established environmentally sound strategies for the management of potential threat posed by PBDEs to the environment and human health. No regulations or management policies for PBDEs currently exist in China at either central or provincial government levels. Large amounts of plastics containing PBDEs are still in use and must be disposed of after their lifetimes, creating outdoor reservoirs for the future dispersal of PBDEs into the environment. Concerted action is needed not only to regulate the production and use of PBDEs but also to find ways to effectively manage waste electrical and electronic products that contain PBDEs. This article is the first to investigate the policy issues and current problems related to the use of PBDEs in China. In addition, we estimate the mass flows of PBDEs contained in Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) in China. We suggest alternatives to PBDEs and sound management of plastics used in electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) that contain PBDEs.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are postulated to play important roles in oncogenesis. Recently, extracellular miRNAs were detected in plasma or serum of diseased subjects. However, the role of circulating miRNAs in plasma/serum remains to be elucidated. In this study, the relative expressions of miR-155, miR-183, and miR-20a in esophageal tissue were found to be significantly associated with increased risk for esophageal cancer. The relative expressions of circulating miR-155 and miR-183 were significantly reduced in cancer patients. Circulating miR-155 showed significantly higher risk for esophageal cancer when adjusted by smoking status and alcohol use. Circulating miR-155 was found to have significant diagnostic value for esophageal cancer as evidenced by a receiver operating characteristic curve area of 66%. However, Pearson analysis showed no statistical correlation in the relative miRNAs expression between plasma and esophageal tissues, which suggested different origins of circulating miRNAs distinct from tumor cell miRNAs. In conclusion, results suggest that circulating miR-155 in plasma may serve as a reliable, novel, noninvasive biomarker for early diagnosis and detection of esophageal cancer.
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