Selected antibodies and current-use pesticides in riverine runoff of an urbanized river system in association with anthropogenic stresses


Antibiotics and current-use pesticides are ubiquitous in the environment. It is important to figure out their spatial distribution under the influences of anthropogenic activities and transport from rivers to coastal oceans. To address this knowledge gap, the present study conducted quarterly sampling in eight main runoff outlets of the Pearl River, South China, and obtained total concentrations of antibiotics and current-use pesticides at 24-296 ng L-1. Higher total concentrations of these chemicals occurred in summer, attributed to seasonal consumption patterns and washout by rainfalls, respectively. The spatial distributions of target analytes were not significantly different between the eastern and western outlets with high and moderate urbanization levels, respectively. Approximately 16.4, 17.7, and 12.5 tons of antibiotics, organophosphorus pesticides, and neonicotinoids were discharged annually from the outlets to the South China Sea. These results suggested that usage amount and hydrology exhibited positive effects on the riverine inputs of the target chemicals. In addition, most target chemicals exhibited low risks to green algae, but erythromycin and parathion posed high ecological risks to aquatic organism (Daphnid and fish).

Authors: Xiang-Pu Zhang, Yu-Yu Zhang, Lei Mai, Liang-Ying Liu, Lian-Jun Bao, Eddy Y Zeng
; Full Source: The Science of the Total Environment. 2020 Jun 5;739:140004. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.140004. Online ahead of print.