Main content area

Occurrence, distribution and bioaccumulation behaviour of hydrophobic organic contaminants in a large-scale constructed wetland in Singapore

Wang, Qian, Kelly, Barry C.
Chemosphere 2017 v.183 pp. 257-265
Typha angustifolia, bioaccumulation, biotransformation, chemical analysis, constructed wetlands, correlation, flame retardants, hydrophobicity, landfill leachates, leaves, organochlorine pesticides, personal care products, polychlorinated biphenyls, roots, stereoisomers, wetland plants, Singapore
This study involved a field-based investigation to assess the occurrence, distribution and bioaccumulation behaviour of hydrophobic organic contaminants in a large-scale constructed wetland. Samples of raw leachate, water and wetland plants, Typha angustifolia, were collected for chemical analysis. Target contaminants included polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides (OCP), as well as several halogenated flame retardants (HFRs) and personal care products (triclosan and synthetic musks). In addition to PCBs and OCPs, synthetic musks, triclosan (TCS) and dechlorane plus stereoisomers (syn- and anti-DPs) were frequently detected. Root concentration factors (log RCF L/kg wet weight) of the various contaminants ranged between 3.0 and 7.9. Leaf concentration factors (log LCF L/kg wet weight) ranged between 2.4 and 8.2. syn- and anti-DPs exhibited the greatest RCF and LCF values. A strong linear relationship was observed between log RCF and octanol-water partition coefficient (log KOW). Translocation factors (log TFs) were negatively correlated with log KOW. The results demonstrate that more hydrophobic compounds exhibit higher degrees of partitioning into plant roots and are less effectively transported from roots to plant leaves. Methyl triclosan (MTCS) and 2,8-dichlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (DCDD), TCS degradation products, exhibited relatively high concentrations in roots and leaves., highlighting the importance of degradation/biotransformation. The results further suggest that Typha angustifolia in this constructed wetland can aid the removal of hydrophobic organic contaminants present in this landfill leachate. The findings will aid future investigations regarding the fate and bioaccumulation of hydrophobic organic contaminants in constructed wetlands.