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A duodecennial national synthesis of antibiotics in China's major rivers and seas (2005–2016)

Li, Si, Shi, Wanzi, Liu, Wei, Li, Huimin, Zhang, Wei, Hu, Jingrun, Ke, Yanchu, Sun, Weiling, Ni, Jinren
The Science of the total environment 2018 v.615 pp. 906-917
algae, aquaculture, correlation, ecotoxicology, fish, fluoroquinolones, invertebrates, macrolides, molecular weight, octanol, organic carbon, organic matter, partition coefficients, population density, risk, river water, rivers, sediments, sulfonamides, tetracyclines, water flow, watersheds, China, Yangtze River, Yellow River
The occurrence of 94 antibiotics in water and sediments from seven major rivers and four seas in China during 2005–2016 was reviewed. Twelve antibiotics were most frequently detected in both water and sediment samples, including 3 sulfonamides (SAs), 2 tetracyclines (TCs), 4 fluoroquinolones (FQs), and 3 macrolides (MLs). Their median concentrations were below 100ng/L and 100ng/g in river water and sediments, respectively. The highest median concentrations were found in water (1.30–176ng/L) and sediments (0.15–110ng/g) in the Hai River, due to its larger population density, higher consumption of antibiotics, and lower water flow. The concentrations of TCs and FQs were higher in the Pearl River sediments, due to their extensive use in aquaculture. The Yangtze River showed lower median concentrations of antibiotics in both water (1.33–17.3ng/L) and sediments (0.31–14.8ng/g), resulting from its larger catchment size, and higher precipitation and water flow. The Yellow River exhibited lower median concentrations of antibiotics in sediments (0.04–9.04ng/g), probably due to low organic matter content in sediments and high suspended particle content in water. Organic carbon normalized distribution coefficients (Koc) of antibiotics were positively correlated with the octanol/water partition coefficients (Kow) of antibiotics, and the correlation for MLs with a macrocyclic lactone ring was different from that of SAs, FQs, and TCs, likely due to their much larger molecular size. Among China's major rivers, the Hai River had the highest ecotoxicological risk from antibiotics to algae, invertebrate, fish, and plant.