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Survey on the micro-pollutants presence in surface water system of northern Serbia and environmental and health risk assessment

Škrbić, Biljana D., Kadokami, Kiwao, Antić, Igor
Environmental research 2018 v.166 pp. 130-140
European Union, acetophenones, active ingredients, alkanes, alpha-terpineol, benzo(a)pyrene, beta-sitosterol, caffeine, cholesterol, deet, dimethyl phthalate, drugs, environmental assessment, environmental quality, health effects assessments, human health, ingestion, irrigation canals, lakes, neoplasms, organochlorine pesticides, palmitates, personal care products, phenylethyl alcohol, plasticizers, pollutants, polychlorinated biphenyls, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, risk, risk assessment, rivers, sediments, stigmasterol, surface water, surveys, Serbia
This study demonstrates the occurrence of 940 organic micro-pollutants in surface water of four rivers, one irrigation canal system, and two lakes in Vojvodina Province, the northern part of Serbia, summing in total eighteen samples. The number of detected chemicals ranged from 22 to 84, with 127 micro-pollutants detected at least once, representing 13% of the studied substances. The targeted compounds include n-alkanes, sterols, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), organochlorine pesticides polychlorinated biphenyls, pesticides, pharmaceutical active compounds, industrial chemicals, plasticizers, etc. Among the analysed compounds, sterols were the most dominant with maximum quantified concentrations. The substances which were quantified with frequency over 50% were two PAHs (2-methylnaphthalene, benzo(ghi)perylene), five sterols (cholesterol, cholestanol, stigmasterol, fucosterol, beta-sitosterol), three pharmaceuticals and personal care products (L-menthol, diethyltoluamide, caffeine), and ten household chemicals (4-tert-octylphenol, dimethyl phthalate, methyl palmitate, phenylethyl alcohol, 1-nonanol, alpha-terpineol, 2-phenoxy-ethanol, methyl myristate, acetophenone, and 2-ethyl-1-hexanol). The list of priority substances under the European Union Directive 2013/39/EU includes 49 priority substances (PSs) out of which 34 were analysed. Among these, eleven PSs were quantified, and only two compounds (fluoranthene and benzo (a) pyrene) exceeded EU Environmental Quality Standards targeted values. The obtained results were compared with the previously published data that dealt with the same targeted number of micro-pollutants in sediment samples. This revealed connections between the same sampling locations. Environmental risk assessment showed the existence of potential ecological risk as 72% of the obtained values for the ecological hazard index (HI) at investigated locations were higher that the targeted value (HI > 1). Estimated values for hazard quotient (HQ) and hazard index (HI) for non-carcinogenic risk were lower than the targeted value, indicating no non-carcinogenic risk through dermal contact and non-intentional ingestion of water. Estimated values for cancer risk were all below 1 × 10−6, which is not considered to pose significant human health risk.