Main content area

An overview on the organic pollution around the Qinghai-Tibet plateau: The thought-provoking situation

Wu, Jun, Lu, Jian, Luo, Yongming, Duan, Dongping, Zhang, Zhenhua, Wen, Xiaohu, Min, Xiuyun, Guo, Xiaoying, Boman, Brian J.
Environment international 2016 v.97 pp. 264-272
adults, air, children, fish, milk, organochlorine pesticides, pollutants, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, polychlorinated biphenyls, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, risk, sediments, soil pollution, yaks, China
The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau plays an important role in the ecological safety and human health of the surroundings due to its unique geographical position and function. Therefore, it is necessary to study the pollution status and potential risk in this area. This study summarizes the distribution of different organic pollutants in biota and environmental media of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Moreover, it also pays attention to the potential health risks of these organic pollutants. Organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were the most frequently detected in different matrices. In general, the carcinogenic risks of organic pollutants were ranked in the very-low to moderate range for both children and adults. The carcinogenic risks of organic pollutants in fish, food, and water for children were 1–2 times higher than those for adults, while risks of organic pollutants in soil/sediment and in air for children were generally 10.6–16.5 and 2.6–2.8 times higher than those for adults, respectively. The maximal hazard quotient for non-carcinogenic risk was 0.95 (potential risk for children posed by organic pollutants in yak milk of Ruoergai), almost reaching an unacceptable level. Therefore, the potential health risks could not be neglected, especially for children who were more likely to be affected by the pollutants.