Main content area

Fate of organic micropollutants and their biological effects in a drinking water source treated by a field-scale constructed wetland

Xu, Shuhui, Zhou, Sicong, Xing, Liqun, Shi, Peng, Shi, Wei, Zhou, Qing, Pan, Yang, Song, Mao-Yong, Li, Aimin
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.682 pp. 756-764
bioassays, carcinogenicity, chemical analysis, constructed wetlands, cytotoxicity, drinking water, health effects assessments, human health, organophosphorus pesticides, pentachlorophenol, phthalates, pollutants, polychlorinated biphenyls, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, reactive oxygen species, risk, summer, toxicity testing, winter
The safety of drinking water is directly related to the occurrence and concentrations of numerous organic micropollutants (OMPs) in source water. In this study, an approach integrating in vitro bioassays and chemical analyses was used to assess the purification effects of a field-scale constructed wetland on the fates of OMPs and their relevant toxicities and health risks in both summer and winter. Overall, 45 of 86 OMPs, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), organophosphorus pesticides (OPPs), and phthalates (PAEs), were detected in at least one of the water samples. The constructed wetland significantly decreased the concentrations of most types of OMPs, while showed negative effects on the PAEs and OPPs. Toxicological evaluation of water samples indicated that the cytotoxicity, reactive oxygen species (ROS) level and anti-androgen (Ant-AR) activity were all dramatically decreased after the constructed wetland treatment. PAEs and PAHs were the dominant contributors and accounted for 75.12–97.48% of the predicted Ant-AR potencies, while the total predicted Ant-AR potencies only contributed 3.13–15.97% of the observed Ant-AR potencies in the examined water samples, suggesting more OMPs that pose toxic effects are still undetected. The human health risk assessment demonstrated that noncarcinogenic risks of the water samples were acceptable. However, potential carcinogenic risks that were mainly induced by 2, 6-dinitrotoluene, 2, 4-dinitrotoluene, pentachlorophenol and PAEs cannot be ignored. This study can help to understand the role of constructed wetlands in removing OMPs and biological effects from drinking water sources.