Main content area

Emerging contaminants in sediment core from the Iron Gate I Reservoir on the Danube River

Matić Bujagić, Ivana, Grujić, Svetlana, Laušević, Mila, Hofmann, Thilo, Micić, Vesna
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.662 pp. 77-87
European Union, agricultural land, carbendazim, drugs, ecotoxicology, erythromycin, linuron, malathion, monitoring, perfluorocarbons, propazine, risk, rivers, sediment contamination, sediments, sterols, sulfamethoxazole, Danube River
The Iron Gate I Reservoir is the largest impoundment on the Danube River. It retains >50% of the incoming total suspended solids load and the associated organic contaminants. In the sediment core of the Iron Gate I Reservoir we report the presence and fate of four classes of emerging contaminants (pharmaceuticals, pesticides, steroids and perfluorinated compounds), predominantly not covered by the EU monitoring programs, but considered as future candidates. Based on contaminant's partitioning behavior in the water/sediment system and the suspected ecotoxicological potential asserted from the literature data, the risk of recorded concentrations for sediment-dwelling organisms was discussed. The high anticipated risk was associated with antibiotics sulfamethoxazole and erythromycin, and pesticides linuron and carbendazim (banned in the EU, but still approved for use in the investigated area) and malathion. This indicated the need for better control of release of these compounds into the river, and implied their inclusion in future regular monitoring. Higher concentrations of pharmaceuticals and most pesticides and sterols were recorded in the fragment of allochthonous coarser sediment, assumed to have entered the reservoir during a high discharge event. Only one perfluorinated compound was recorded in the upper part of the sediment core. The vertical concentration profiles of pesticides propazine and malathion indicated their uniform source, most likely atmospheric transport and deposition of particles deriving from agricultural land.