Publications by authors named "Wang-Rong Liu"

22 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Variations of antibiotic resistome in swine wastewater during full-scale anaerobic digestion treatment.

Environ Int 2021 Oct 12;155:106694. Epub 2021 Jun 12.

SCNU Environmental Research Institute, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Chemical Pollution and Environmental Safety & MOE Key Laboratory of Theoretical Chemistry of Environment, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510006, China; School of Environment, South China Normal University, University Town, Guangzhou 510006, China. Electronic address:

Anaerobic digesters have been widely used to treat wastewaters in livestock farms. With the increasing risk of antibiotic resistance originated from livestock husbandry, removal of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) via anaerobic digesters deserved more attention. Here we investigated the removal of antibiotics and ARGs in swine wastewater by three on-farm full-scale anaerobic digesters, including buried biogas digester (BBD), up-flow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) and high density polyethylene covered biogas digester (HDPE-BD). Variations of antibiotic resistome in swine wastewater were further revealed by metagenomic sequencing. Results showed the removal efficiencies for antibiotics, ARGs and mobile genetic elements (MGEs) varied in the three digesters, ranging from 65.1% to 98.1%, 3.5%-71.0% and 26.9%-77.2%, respectively. In general, UASB and HDPE-BD showed better removal efficiencies than BBD. However, enrichment of metal resistance genes (MRGs) was noted in UASB. Pathogens could not be effectively removed by all of the three digesters. What's more, accumulation of pathogens was found in UASB (removal efficiencies: -8.5%-13.6%). Bacterial community succession, horizontal genetic transfer and biocide and metal resistance genes (BMRGs) profiles jointly structured the variation of antibiotic resistome during anaerobic digestion. A total of 334 high-quality bins were identified from swine wastewater, 96 of which belonged to phylum of Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria carried ARGs. Proteobacteria was the dominant multi-drug resistant flora. Meanwhile, ARG-carrying pathogens (Bacteroides and Mycolicibacter) were found in the swine wastewater, suggesting a potential threat to human and animal health. The findings from this study showed that HDPE-BD is the most eco-friendly and effective anaerobic digester in controlling risks from antibiotic resistance determinants in swine wastewater.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2021.106694DOI Listing
October 2021

Comparisons of pollution characteristics, emission situations, and mass loads for heavy metals in the manures of different livestock and poultry in China.

Sci Total Environ 2020 Sep 11;734:139023. Epub 2020 May 11.

The Environmental Research Institute, MOE Key Laboratory of Environmental Theoretical Chemistry, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510006, China.

The application of livestock and poultry manures was the predominant source of heavy metals in agricultural soils, particularly in China. It is important to systematically compare the pollution characteristics, emission situations and mass loads for heavy metals in the manures of different livestock and poultry in China. According to analysis and estimation based on the reported concentration levels of eight heavy metals (Zn, Cu, Pb, Cd, Cr, Hg, As, and Ni) and the feed quantities of livestock (pig, cattle, and sheep) and poultry in 2017, the concentrations of Zn and Cu and the over-standard frequencies of Zn, Cu, Cd, and As were much higher than those of other heavy metals, especially in pig manure. In 2017, the total emission of livestock and poultry manure in China was 1.64 × 10 t (FW), which was mainly excreted from cattle (45.77%); while the total emission of heavy metals sourced from manures was 2.86 × 10 t (DW), with the predominant contribution originating from pig manure (71.52%). The highest mass loads of manures and heavy metals were observed in Shandong, Tianjin, Henan, and Shanghai, where heavy metal contamination may be occurring (especially for Zn and Cu). The heavy metal concentrations in livestock and poultry manures of China were similar to other countries; however, more heavy metals were discharged into agricultural land through manure (especially for Zn and Cu). For many countries, abundant Zn and Cu exist in agricultural soils, principally contributed by livestock and poultry manures. These heavy metals originate from their addition to livestock and poultry feeds. Therefore, reducing the addition of Zn and Cu in feeds is an effective measure to lower their input into agricultural soils.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.139023DOI Listing
September 2020

[Occurrence and Removal of -nitrosamines in the Wastewater Treatment Plants Using Different Treatment Processes].

Huan Jing Ke Xue 2019 Jul;40(7):3233-3241

Environmental Research Institute, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China.

This study measured the concentrations of six -nitrosamines (NAs) in water samples from each process stage of three wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and their corresponding receiving rivers. The occurrence and removal of NAs was then systematically studied in three WWTPs using different treatment processes, and their pollution profiles and sources in the receiving rivers were analyzed. The results showed that the six NAs occurred widely in the wastewater from every process stage of three WWTPs. NPIP, NDMA, and NPYR were the dominant pollutants with concentrations in the tens to hundreds ng·L. The three WWTPs using different treatment processes removed a certain amount of NAs, and the modified A/O and A/O+MBR showed good NAs removal effects, with total removal rates of 95% and 63%, respectively. The removal of NAs mainly relied on microbial degradation and transformation during the biochemical stage. During the filtration, disinfection, and MBR stages, NAs precursors in the wastewater treatment system could form some added NAs after a series of reactions. The six NAs were also frequently detected in the surface waters of receiving rivers, where the main pollutants were also MDMA, NPIP, and NPYR, which was consistent with the influent of the WTTPs. The sources of NAs in the receiving rivers were wide ranging and complicated, including emission from the effluent of the WTTPs, the release of untreated sanitary sewage, industrial wastewater, and surface runoff from industrial districts. Therefore, effective measures should be taken to reduce the input of NAs into receiving rivers, such as enhancing the capacity of sewage collection and treatment and optimizing sewage treatment processes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.13227/j.hjkx.201812132DOI Listing
July 2019

Bioaccumulation, metabolism, and risk assessment of phenolic endocrine disrupting chemicals in specific tissues of wild fish.

Chemosphere 2019 Jul 1;226:607-615. Epub 2019 Apr 1.

State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, 510640, China; SCNU Environmental Research Institute, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Chemical Pollution and Environmental Safety & MOE Key Laboratory of Theoretical Chemistry of Environment, South China Normal University, Guangzhou, 510006, China.

Phenolic endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) may pose a great hazard to wildlife and humans, owing to their ubiquitous presence in the environment and potential bioaccumulation ability. We investigated the bioaccumulation, metabolism, and human health risks of six phenolic EDCs, including bisphenol A (BPA), 4-tert-octylphenol (4-t-OP), 4-nonylphenol (4-NP), estrone (E1), 17β-estradiol (E2), and 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2), in wild fish from the Pearl River system, South China. Except EE2, the other five EDCs were detected in at least one of the four fish tissues (bile, liver, plasma, and muscle). The concentrations of BPA and 4-NP were greater than those of 4-t-OP, E1, and E2 in all tissues. The median values of log bioaccumulation factors for EDCs at the range of 3.86-4.52 in bile, 2.06-3.16 in liver, 2.69-3.87 in plasma, and 1.34-2.30 in muscle, indicating a higher bioaccumulation potential in fish bile than in other tissues. Greater levels of glucuronide/sulfate conjugated EDCs were found in fish bile and liver than in the plasma and muscle, suggesting that the liver and bile played an important role in the metabolism and excretion of phenolic EDCs in fish. The calculated hazard quotient values were below 1 for each compound, implying low risk to human health by intake of edible fish.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2019.03.187DOI Listing
July 2019

Bioaccumulation and risks of 24 personal care products in plasma of wild fish from the Yangtze River, China.

Sci Total Environ 2019 May 12;665:810-819. Epub 2019 Feb 12.

SCNU Environmental Research Institute, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Chemical Pollution and Environmental Safety & MOE Key Laboratory of Theoretical Chemistry of Environment, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510006, China.

We used a hybrid precipitation method to simultaneously extract and analyze 24 personal care products (PCPs), including 16 biocides, 4 synthetic musks, and 4 benzotriazoles, in the plasma of fish. The method's performance was validated for plasma samples with and without β-glucuronidase/aryl-sulfatase hydrolysis. The recoveries were in the range of 70-120% for most of the PCPs, except N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide (DEET), clotrimazole (CTZ), miconazole and itraconazole at spiking concentration of 20 and 5 ng/mL. The quantification limits ranged between 0.89 and 17.9 ng/mL (hydrolyzed plasma) and 0.85-18.5 ng/mL (non-hydrolyzed plasma), except CTZ at 77.5 ng/mL and 76.3 ng/mL. Totally, 13 PCPs were detected in plasma samples of fish collected from the Yangtze River, with a maximum concentration of 58.4 ng/mL (galaxolide). Compounds with the phenol hydroxyl groups of parabens or triclosan in hydrolyzed plasma showed higher concentrations than those in unhydrolyzed plasma with the ratio of conjugation (glucuronides + sulfates) forms up to 86%. The median values for the logarithm of bioaccumulation factors were between 1.39 and 4.15, which were 2-3 orders of magnitude higher than the theoretical logarithm of bioconcentration factors. Using the fish plasma model, the effect ratios (effect concentration/measured plasma concentration ratios) of tonalide, galaxolide, benzotriazole, triclosan, and DEET reached 0.35, 4.15, 3.78, 7.52, and 9.24, respectively. These are recognized as priority chemicals for further risk assessment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.02.176DOI Listing
May 2019

Fate of veterinary antibiotics during animal manure composting.

Sci Total Environ 2019 Feb 12;650(Pt 1):1363-1370. Epub 2018 Sep 12.

The Environmental Research Institute, MOE Key Laboratory of Environmental Theoretical Chemistry, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510006, China. Electronic address:

Antibiotics are widely used in animals for disease treatment and prevention. After use, these antibiotics end up in manure. Here we investigated the fate of veterinary antibiotics in animal manure during composting and their residues in manure-applied soils. The results showed that 64.7% of the detected veterinary antibiotics were removed after composting for 171 days, which mainly occurred at the thermophilic phase in the second week, followed by a long stable stage with limited variations. The removal rates for lincomycin, trimethoprim and the macrolides during the composting were >89.7%, while those for the sulfonamides, tetracyclines and fluoroquinolones were less than <63.7%. The dissipation of antibiotics during the composting was related to the change of compost physicochemical properties, especially moisture and C/N ratio. The application of compost products with antibiotic residues could still lead to soil contamination, which may pose risks of resistance selection to the soil ecosystem.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.09.147DOI Listing
February 2019

Occurrence, fate and mass loadings of antibiotics in two swine wastewater treatment systems.

Sci Total Environ 2018 Oct 26;639:1421-1431. Epub 2018 May 26.

State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510640, China; The Environmental Research Institute, MOE Key Laboratory of Environmental Theoretical Chemistry, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510006, China. Electronic address:

Antibiotics are widely applied in livestock industry to prevent or treat animal diseases. However, those antibiotics are poorly metabolized in livestock animals, most of them being excreted via feces or urine. Hence we need to understand the removal of antibiotics in swine farm wastewater treatment systems. This study investigated occurrence and fate of various antibiotics in two full-scale swine farm wastewater treatment systems (Farm A: anaerobic digester-A/O-lagoon; Farm B: upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB)-(A/O)-lagoon). The results showed the presence of 25 antibiotics out of 40 target antibiotics in the wastewater and sludge samples from the two farms. In Farm A, sulfamonomethoxine, sulfachlorpyridazine, oxytetracycline and lincomycin were predominant in the influent with concentrations up to 166 ± 3.64 μg/L, while in the dewatered sludge chlortetracycline, oxytetracycline, tetracycline and norfloxacin were the predominant target compounds with concentrations up to 29.2 ± 3.74 μg/g. In Farm B, high concentrations (up to 3630 ± 1040 μg/L) of sulfachlorpyridazine, sulfamonomethoxine and lincomycin were detected in the influent, and the predominant target antibiotics detected in the dewater sludge were similar to those in Farm A, with concentrations up to 28.6 ± 0.592 μg/g. The aqueous removal rates for the total antibiotics were >99.0% in the wastewater treatment plants of both farms. Among a series of treatment units, the anaerobic digester in Farm A and UASB in Farm B made a significant contribution to the elimination of the target antibiotics from the animal wastewater. The daily mass loadings of total antibiotics in the manure, influent, dewatered sludge and effluent were 17.1, 28.0, 2.53, and 0.0730 g/d for Farm A and 24.5, 354, 3.17, and 0.293 g/d for Farm B. The full-scale swine wastewater treatment facilities could effectively remove antibiotics from swine wastewater, but the dewatered sludge needs to be further treated before disposal on land.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.05.230DOI Listing
October 2018

Biocides in the river system of a highly urbanized region: A systematic investigation involving runoff input.

Sci Total Environ 2018 May 27;624:1023-1030. Epub 2017 Dec 27.

State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510640, China; The Environmental Research Institute, MOE Key Laboratory of Environmental Theoretical Chemistry, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510006, China. Electronic address:

This study aimed to investigate the occurrence of 19 biocides in the aquatic environments (including runoffs) of a highly urbanized region, and then analyze the sources and ecological risks of target biocides in the river system. The investigated results showed that 19 target biocides were universally detected in surface water (17), sediment (19) and rainfall runoff (18). The tributaries of the river system were seriously contaminated by the biocides compared to the main stream. The prominent biocides in the riverine environment were methylparaben, climbazole and N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide (DEET) for surface water, climbazole, triclosan and triclocarban for sediment, and DEET and carbendazim for rainfall runoff. The biocides source analysis based on the mass contribution suggested that domestic wastewater was a dominant input source for most biocides in the riverine environment, while rainfall runoff was another crucial input source for some biocides, especially for DEET and carbendazim. The ecological risk assessment revealed that some high levels biocides (e.g. clotrimazole, carbendazim, and triclosan) could pose potential ecological risks to aquatic organisms. Therefore, it is essential that some efficient measures should be taken to reduce the input of biocides to river system from different sources.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.12.225DOI Listing
May 2018

Determination of 24 personal care products in fish bile using hybrid solvent precipitation and dispersive solid phase extraction cleanup with ultrahigh performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.

J Chromatogr A 2018 May 5;1551:29-40. Epub 2018 Apr 5.

State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, 510640, China; The Environmental Research Institute, MOE Key Laboratory of Theoretical Chemistry of Environment, South China Normal University, Guangzhou, 510006, China.

Personal care products (PCPs) are ubiquitous in aquatic environments owing to the continuous discharge of domestic wastewater from highly urbanized regions. These PCPs can be adsorbed by fish and thereafter usually enter the bile of the fish through biliary excretion. In this study, a sensitive method based on a combination of hybrid solvent precipitation and dispersive solid phase extraction (d-SPE) purification was developed to simultaneously extract and detect 24 PCPs, namely, 16 biocides, 4 synthetic musks, and 4 benzotriazoles, from fish bile. Hybrid precipitation on solid phase extraction (SPE) tubes was applied to remove phospholipids and proteins, and a d-SPE procedure was used for further purification. The extraction solvents for the hybrid precipitation/SPE tubes and d-SPE materials were optimized. The method performance for bile samples both with and without enzyme hydrolysis using β-glucuronidase/aryl-sulfatase were validated. The 24 PCPs in fish bile were spiked with standard concentrations of 10 ng/mL, 20 ng/mL, 100 ng/mL, and 200 ng/mL to evaluate recoveries, which ranged from 70 to 120% for 16, 16, 22, and 21 analytes with hydrolysis, respectively, and 70-120% for 14, 15, 23, and 23 analytes without hydrolysis, respectively. The quantification limits for target PCPs were in the range 0.26-7.38 ng/mL [excluding musk xylene (MX) and musk ketone (MK)] and 0.20-9.48 ng/mL (excluding MX and MK) for bile samples with and without enzyme hydrolysis, respectively. After enzyme hydrolysis, 12 PCPs were detected in bile from fish collected from the Yangtze River, with a maximum detected concentration of 460 ng/mL, for triclosan (TCS). The hydrolysis reaction indicated that high percentages of glucuronide and sulfate metabolites for some PCPs, i.e. four parabens and TCS, existed in the bile.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chroma.2018.04.003DOI Listing
May 2018

Occurrence, fate and risk assessment of androgens in ten wastewater treatment plants and receiving rivers of South China.

Chemosphere 2018 Jun 26;201:644-654. Epub 2018 Feb 26.

State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, 510640, China.

Androgens are one class of steroids that could cause endocrine disrupting effects in aquatic organisms. However, little information is available about androgens in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) with different treatment technologies. Here we investigated the occurrence, removal, and fate of fourteen natural and synthetic androgens in ten WWTPs of Guangdong province, south China. The results showed detection of ten androgens in the influents of the ten WWTPs, with concentrations up to 4650 ng/L (androsta-1,4-diene-3,17-dione). But only three androgens androsta-1,4-diene-3,17-dione, 4-androstene-3,17-dione and 17β-boldenone were detected in the final effluents of the ten WWTPs, while six androgens androsta-1,4-diene-3,17-dione (N.D. to 43.0 ng/g), 4-androstene-3,17-dione (2.06-42.7 ng/g), epi-androsterone (N.D. to 506 ng/g), testosterone (0.29-4.24 ng/g), 17β-boldenone (N.D. to 2.05 ng/g) and methyl testosterone (N.D. to 0.70 ng/g) were found in activated sludge. The aqueous phase removal rates for most androgens in the WWTPs exceeded 95% except for 4-androstene-3,17-dione with its removal rates varying between 79.5% and 100%. The removal of androgens in the WWTPs could be attributed mainly to biodegradation while removal by precipitation, volatilization, sludge absorption and oxidation was very limited. Eight androgens were also found in five receiving rivers. The risk quotients of some androgens (androsta-1,4-diene-3,17-dione, 4-androstene-3,17-dione, methyl testosterone, 17α-trenbolone) exceeded 1 in the receiving rivers, showing high risks to aquatic organisms. Further studies are needed to understand the origin of these high risk androgens and ecological effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2018.02.144DOI Listing
June 2018

Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) and artificial sweeteners (ASs) in surface and ground waters and their application as indication of wastewater contamination.

Sci Total Environ 2018 Mar 28;616-617:816-823. Epub 2017 Oct 28.

State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510640, China; The Environmental Research Institute, MOE Key Laboratory of Environmental Theoretical Chemistry, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510006, China. Electronic address:

We systematically investigated the occurrence and distribution of 93 pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) and 5 artificial sweeteners (ASs) in surface water and groundwater of Dongjiang River basin in south China. In surface water, 52 compounds were detected with median concentrations ranging from 0.06ng/L to 504ng/L, while in groundwater, 33 compounds were detected with concentrations up to 4580ng/L for acesulfame. PPCPs and ASs were widely detected in the surface water and groundwater samples, which indicated contamination by domestic wastewater in the surface water and groundwater of Dongjiang River basin. Temporal and spatial variations of the detected chemicals were observed in surface water. Acesulfame, sucralose and cyclamate can be used as wastewater indicators to imply contamination in groundwater caused by domestic wastewater due to their hydrophilicity, anthropogenic sources and ubiquity in groundwater. Moreover, the detection of the readily degradable ASs, cyclamate, was a strong indication of untreated wastewater in groundwater. Sucralose was found to be a suitable wastewater indicator to reflect domestic wastewater contamination in surface water and groundwater qualitatively and quantitatively, and it can be used to evaluate wastewater burden in surface water and groundwater of Dongjiang River basin. The wastewater burden data from this survey implied serious contamination in surface water and groundwater by domestic wastewater at Shima River, a tributary of the Dongjiang River. The findings from this study suggest that the selected labile and conservative chemicals can be used as indication of wastewater contamination for aquatic environments qualitatively and quantitatively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.10.241DOI Listing
March 2018

Personal care products in wild fish in two main Chinese rivers: Bioaccumulation potential and human health risks.

Sci Total Environ 2018 Apr 17;621:1093-1102. Epub 2017 Oct 17.

State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510640, China.

Personal care products (PCPs) are widely applied in our daily life, however, little is known about their occurrence in wild fish. We investigated the bioaccumulation and potential risks of 24 PCPs in muscle and liver tissues of wild fish collected from two large rivers of Pearl and Yangtze Rivers in China. The results showed the detection of a total of 13 PCPs including 9 biocides, 2 synthetic musks and 2 benzotriazoles in at least one type of fish tissue from 12 fish species. The compounds with high detection frequencies (>50%) in fish muscle or liver tissues were N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide, carbendazim, climbazole, miconazole (MCZ), methylparaben, propylparaben, triclosan (TCS), tonalide, galaxolide (HHCB) and 5-methyl-1H-benzotriazole (5-TT). Among biocides, synthetic musks and benzotriazoles, TCS, HHCB and benzotriazole showed the maximum concentrations of 79.5ng/g wet weight (ww), 299ng/g ww and 3.14ng/g ww, respectively, in muscle tissue, while MCZ, HHCB and 5-TT showed the maximum concentrations of 432ng/g ww, 2619ng/g ww and 54.5ng/g ww, respectively, in liver tissue. The median values of logarithm of bioaccumulation factors (BAF) for the detected 13 PCPs were ranged 0.8-3.35 in muscle and 0.85-4.58 in liver. The log BAF values of the PCPs displayed good linear relationships with log K and log D (pH-dependent K). The health hazard assessment of 10 detected PCPs in the muscle indicated no appreciable risk to human via consumption of the wild fish.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.10.117DOI Listing
April 2018

Suitability of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) and artificial sweeteners (ASs) as wastewater indicators in the Pearl River Delta, South China.

Sci Total Environ 2017 Jul 8;590-591:611-619. Epub 2017 Mar 8.

State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510640, China; The Environmental Research Institute, MOE Key Laboratory of Environmental Theoretical Chemistry, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510006, China. Electronic address:

Wastewater indicator is a useful tool for evaluating the wastewater impact on natural water, but there is little information about the suitability of wastewater indicators for different regions. This study aimed to select suitable wastewater indicators in the Pearl River Delta region, south China by screening a range of wastewater related organic compounds. The screening campaign was carried out by investigating the occurrence and removal efficiencies of 93 pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) and 5 artificial sweeteners (ASs) in nine wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) located in the region, and the occurrence of these target compounds in the contaminated and clean surface water of the Pearl River. An ideal wastewater indicator should be hydrophilic, source-specific for domestic wastewater, ubiquitous in contaminated surface water with detection frequency (DF) >80% and absent in background water samples. For liable indicators, high removal rates (>90%) should be observed in WWTPs and they should be detected in all the influent samples at concentrations fifty times higher than their limits of quantification. For conservative indicators, low removal rates (<50%) should be observed in WWTPs and they should be detected in all the effluent samples at concentrations fifty times higher than their limits of quantification. Based on the above criteria, sucralose and fluconazole were selected as conservative indicators in the region, while cyclamate, saccharin, methyl paraben, ethyl paraben, propyl paraben, paracetamol, salicylic acid and caffeine were selected as liable indicators.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.03.001DOI Listing
July 2017

Biocides in wastewater treatment plants: Mass balance analysis and pollution load estimation.

J Hazard Mater 2017 May 1;329:310-320. Epub 2017 Feb 1.

State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510640, PR China. Electronic address:

This study aimed to investigate the occurrence and removal of 19 biocides in ten different wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), then estimate the usages and emissions per capita of 19 biocides based on mass balance analysis approach. The results showed that target biocides were universally detected in the WWTPs and their receiving rivers, and 19 for liquid samples and 18 for solid samples. The prominent compound for liquid was DEET (N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide), with its maximum concentration of 393ng/L in influent; while that for solid was triclocarban with its maximum concentration of 2.11×10ng/g in anaerobic sludge. Most biocides were readily removed from the liquid phase of ten WWTPs, and the mean removal rate to ∑19 biocides was up to 75%. The removals of target biocides were attributed to biodegradation and adsorption onto activated sludge. The mean input per capita for ∑19 biocides based on influent was 907μg/d/person, while the emissions per capita were 187μg/d/person for effluent, and 121μg/d/person for excess sludge. As demonstrated, the biocides contamination of the receiving rivers could pose potential ecological risks for aquatic organisms. Therefore, advanced wastewater treatment technologies should be developed to reduce the emission of biocides into the receiving environment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2017.01.057DOI Listing
May 2017

Simultaneous determination of 24 personal care products in fish muscle and liver tissues using QuEChERS extraction coupled with ultra pressure liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry and gas chromatography-mass spectrometer analyses.

Anal Bioanal Chem 2016 Nov 13;408(28):8177-8193. Epub 2016 Sep 13.

State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 511 Kehua Street, Wushan, Tianhe District, Guangzhou, Guangdong, 510640, China.

A sensitive and selective quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged, and safe (QuEChERS) extraction combined with dispersive solid-phase extraction (d-SPE) cleanup method was developed to simultaneously extract a wide range of personal care products (16 biocides, 4 synthetic musks, and 4 benzotriazoles) in fish muscle and liver tissues. In order to get satisfactory recoveries, different extraction parameters were optimized, including extraction salts and d-SPE materials, extraction solvents and acetic acid contents in organic phase, and the ratios of solvent and water. Ultra pressure liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry were used to analyze the target compounds in the extracts. Among the 24 personal care products, the recoveries in the range of 70-120 % were obtained for 20, 19, and 12 analytes in fish muscle at the spiking concentrations of 10, 5, and 1 ng/g ww, respectively, and for 13, 12, and 11 analytes in liver at the spiking concentrations of 40, 20, and 4 ng/g ww, respectively. Method quantification limits (MQLs) of all analytes were 0.02-2.12 ng/g ww for fish muscle and 0.22-12.2 ng/g ww for fish liver tissues. The method was successfully applied to wild fish samples collected from Dongjiang River, south China. Twenty-one and 17 of the analytes were found in fish muscle and liver samples, respectively, in at least one site of the river with the concentrations between below MQLs and 119 ng/g ww, respectively. Graphical abstract Achieved satisfactory recoveries, high precision, and low method quantification limits (MQLs) for PCPs in wild fish tissues by QuEChERS procedure optimization combined with UPLC-MS/MS and GC-MS analyses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00216-016-9924-yDOI Listing
November 2016

Photodegradation of the azole fungicide climbazole by ultraviolet irradiation under different conditions: Kinetics, mechanism and toxicity evaluation.

J Hazard Mater 2016 Nov 16;318:794-801. Epub 2016 Jun 16.

State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510640, PR China.

Climbazole (CZ) has been known to persist in various environmental media, and may cause potential risks to aquatic organisms. This study investigated the photodegradation of CZ by ultraviolet (UV, 254nm) under different conditions. The results revealed that CZ could be effectively degraded in aqueous solutions under UV-254 irradiation with a half-life of 9.78min (pH=7.5), and the photodegradation followed pseudo-first-order kinetics. pH had almost no effect on its rate constants and quantum yields; but the water quality of natural waters could affect the photolysis of CZ, and the coexisting constituents such as Fe(3+), NO3(-), and HA obviously inhibited its photolysis. The addition of different radical scavengers also inhibited the photodegradation of CZ due to the reduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS). CZ underwent direct and self-sensitized photolysis involving ROS. Based on the identified photodegradation by-products, the proposed pathways included hydroxylative dechlorination, dechlorination and de-pinacolone. Moreover, toxicity evaluation using duckweed found significant toxicity reduction in the photodegradation system of CZ after the irradiation of UV-254, and the remaining by-products did not pose extra toxicity compared with CZ itself. These findings from present study suggest that CZ in effluent could be further reduced by applying UV photolysis treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2016.06.033DOI Listing
November 2016

Occurrence and removal of progestagens in two representative swine farms: Effectiveness of lagoon and digester treatment.

Water Res 2015 Jun 3;77:146-154. Epub 2015 Apr 3.

State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, CAS Research Centre for PRD Environmental Pollution and Control, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510640, China.

A total of 21 progestagens were screened in animal wastes and environmental samples from two representative swine farms and surrounding environments of South China using ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS) to assess the effectiveness of simple lagoon (and digester) treatment. The results showed that 11, 8 and 8 of 21 target progestagens were detected with the minimum concentration of 2.31 ng/L and maximum of 6150 ng/L in the water samples, with the minimum of 1.36 ng/L and maximum of 98.3 ng/L in the suspended particles, and with the minimum of 1.57 ng/g dry weight (dw) and maximum of 3310 ng/g dw in the solid samples, respectively. Trace levels (a few ng/L or ng/g levels) of dydrogesterone, 5α-dihydroprogesterone, norgestrel and progesterone were found in samples from nearby surface waters and vegetable fields impacted by animal wastes. The residual progestagens at the reported levels may still pose potential risks to aquatic organisms such as fish in the receiving aquatic environments. This finding suggests that swine wastewater and feces could lead to contamination of some detectable progestagens in the surrounding environments. Significant reduction in total progestagen concentrations were observed from the fresh swine wastewaters to the fish ponds, indicating effective removal of these compounds by the lagoon (and digester) treatment. In addition, the biogas digesters provided high removal of the progestagens in the waste streams. This low-cost and eco-friendly treatment system should be promoted in developing countries with concentrated animal operations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2015.03.022DOI Listing
June 2015

Multimedia fate modeling and risk assessment of a commonly used azole fungicide climbazole at the river basin scale in China.

Sci Total Environ 2015 Jul 17;520:39-48. Epub 2015 Mar 17.

State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510640, PR China.

Climbazole is an antidandruff active ingredient commonly used in personal care products, but little is known about its environmental fate. The aim of this study was to evaluate the fate of climbazole in water, sediment, soil and air compartments of the whole China by using a level III multimedia fugacity model. The usage of climbazole was calculated to be 345 t in the whole China according to the market research data, and after wastewater treatment a total emission of 245 t was discharged into the receiving environment with approximately 93% into the water compartment and 7% into the soil compartment. The developed fugacity model was successfully applied to estimate the contamination levels and mass inventories of climbazole in various environmental compartments of the river basins in China. The predicted environmental concentration ranges of climbazole were: 0.20-367 ng/L in water, and 0.009-25.2 ng/g dry weight in sediment. The highest concentration was mainly found in Haihe River basin and the lowest was in basins of Tibet and Xinjiang regions. The mass inventory of climbazole in the whole China was estimated to be 294 t, with 6.79% in water, 83.7% in sediment, 9.49% in soil, and 0.002% in air. Preliminary risk assessment showed high risks in sediment posed by climbazole in 2 out of 58 basins in China. The medium risks in water and sediment were mostly concentrated in north China. To the best of our knowledge, it is the first report on the emissions and multimedia fate of climbazole in the river basins of the whole China.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.03.038DOI Listing
July 2015

Biocides in the Yangtze River of China: spatiotemporal distribution, mass load and risk assessment.

Environ Pollut 2015 May 16;200:53-63. Epub 2015 Feb 16.

State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510640, PR China. Electronic address:

Nineteen biocides were investigated in the Yangtze River to understand their spatiotemporal distribution, mass loads and ecological risks. Fourteen biocides were detected, with the highest concentrations up to 166 ng/L for DEET in surface water, and 54.3 ng/g dry weight (dw) for triclocarban in sediment. The dominant biocides were DEET and methylparaben, with their detection frequencies of 100% in both phases. An estimate of 152 t/y of 14 biocides was carried by the Yangtze River to the East China Sea. The distribution of biocides in the aquatic environments was significantly correlated to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), total phosphorus (TP) and total nitrogen (TN), suggesting dominant input sources from domestic wastewater of the cities along the river. Risk assessment showed high ecological risks posed by carbendazim in both phases and by triclosan in sediment. Therefore, proper measures should be taken to reduce the input of biocides into the river systems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2015.02.013DOI Listing
May 2015

Tissue-specific bioaccumulation of human and veterinary antibiotics in bile, plasma, liver and muscle tissues of wild fish from a highly urbanized region.

Environ Pollut 2015 Mar 27;198:15-24. Epub 2014 Dec 27.

State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510640, PR China. Electronic address:

We investigated the bioaccumulation of antibiotics in bile, plasma, liver and muscle tissues of wild fish from four rivers in the Pearl River Delta region. In total, 12 antibiotics were present in at least one type of fish tissues from nine wild fish species in the four rivers. The mean values of log bioaccumulation factors (log BAFs) for the detected antibiotics in fish bile, plasma, liver, and muscle tissues were at the range of 2.06-4.08, 1.85-3.47, 1.41-3.51, and 0.48-2.70, respectively. As the digestion tissues, fish bile, plasma, and liver showed strong bioaccumulation ability for some antibiotics, indicating a different bioaccumulation pattern from hydrophobic organic contaminants. Human health risk assessment based on potential fish consumption indicates that these antibiotics do not appear to pose an appreciable risk to human health. To the best of our knowledge, this is first report of bioaccumulation patterns of antibiotics in wild fish bile and plasma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2014.12.026DOI Listing
March 2015

Dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes in representative broiler feedlots environments: identification of indicator ARGs and correlations with environmental variables.

Environ Sci Technol 2014 Nov 3;48(22):13120-9. Epub 2014 Nov 3.

State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, CAS Centre for Pearl River Delta Environmental Pollution and Control Research, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences , Guangzhou 510640, China.

Livestock operations are known to harbor elevated levels of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) that may pose a threat to public health. Broiler feedlots may represent an important source of ARGs in the environment. However, the prevalence and dissemination mechanisms of various types of ARGs in the environment of broiler feedlots have not previously been identified. We examined the occurrence, abundance and variation of ARGs conferring resistance to chloramphenicols, sulfonamides and tetracyclines in the environments of two representative types of broiler feedlots (free range and indoor) by quantitative PCR, and assessed their dissemination mechanisms. The results showed the prevalence of various types of ARGs in the environmental samples of the broiler feedlots including manure/litter, soil, sediment, and water samples, with the first report of five chloramphenicol resistance genes (cmlA, floR, fexA, cfr, and fexB) in broiler feedlots. Overall, chloramphenicol resistance genes and sulfonamides sul genes were more abundant than tetracyclines tet genes. The ARG abundances in the samples from indoor boiler feedlots were generally different to the free range feedlots, suggesting the importance of feeding operations in ARG dissemination. Pearson correlation analysis showed significant correlations between ARGs and mobile genetic element genes (int1 and int2), and between the different classes of ARGs themselves, revealing the roles of horizontal gene transfer and coselection for ARG dissemination in the environment. Further regression analysis revealed that fexA, sul1 and tetW could be reliable indicator genes to surrogate anthropogenic sources of ARGs in boiler feedlots (correlations of fexA, sul1 and tetW to all ARGs: R = 0.95, 0.96 and 0.86, p < 0.01). Meanwhile, significant correlations were also identified between indicator ARGs and their corresponding antibiotics. In addition, some ARGs were significantly correlated with typical metals (e.g., Cu, Zn, and As with fexA, fexB, cfr, sul1, tetW, tetO, tetS: R = 0.52-0.71) and some environmental parameters (e.g., TOC, TN, TP, NH3-N with fexA, fexB, cfr, sul1, tetW, tetO, tetQ, tetS: R = 0.53-0.87) (p < 0.01). Further redundancy analysis demonstrated that the distribution and transportation of ARGs from the boiler feedlots to the receiving environments were correlated with environmental variables. The findings highlight the contribution of some chemicals such as antibiotics and metals to the development of ARGs in broiler feedlots environments; and the observed ARG dissemination mechanism in the broiler feedlots facilitates the development of effective mitigation measures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es5041267DOI Listing
November 2014

[Experimental studies on stability of flocs from cadmium pollution emergency treatment].

Huan Jing Ke Xue 2013 May;34(5):1797-801

South China Institute of Environmental Sciences, Ministry of Environment Protection, Guangzhou 510655, China.

Taking the flocs from cadmium pollution emergency treatment of Longjiang River in Guangxi province as the research object, the stability of the flocs in the simulated static reservoirs and acidic floods was investigated based on the effects of disturbance and pH on the stability of the flocs. The results indicated that disturbance and pH had great effects on the stability of the flocs, and the concentrations of Cd2+ followed the order of pH 5.0 >> pH 6.0 > pH 7. 0 approximately pH 8.0 > pH 9.0 with the original pH of water. When the original pH of water was 5.0, the concentrations of Cd2+ in samples were 19-58 times higher than the national standard limit, and when the original pH of water were 6.0, 7.0, 8.0 and 9.0, respectively, the concentrations of Cd2+ in samples varied from below to 11 times higher than the national standard limit. The release of cadmium from the flocs was higher in the disturbed water, with the concentrations of Cd2+ in most samples higher than 5.0 microg x L(-1), and the highest was double of the national standard limit. In contrast, there was little release in the simulated static reservoirs, with the concentrations of Cd2+ in all samples below 5.0 microg x L(-1), which was lower than the national standard limit. Therefore, the flocs had good stability in the simulated static reservoirs. But it had poor stability in the simulated acidic floods, with higher release of cadmium, and the concentrations of Cd2+ in samples were 14-25 times higher than the national standard limit. Therefore, the monitoring of cadmium concentrations in the floods should be strengthened in the post project analysis for eco-environmental impact of Longjiang River.
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May 2013
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