U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


Main content area

Accumulation and risk prioritization of psychoactive substances in the critically endangered Yangtze finless porpoise

Zeyuan Wang, Bin Tang, Kexiong Wang, Yujiang Hao, Fangxing Yang
Journal of hazardous materials 2023 v.442 pp. 130002
aquatic environment, blood serum, codeine, endangered species, humans, lakes, methamphetamines, morphine, prioritization, psychotropic agents, risk, risk analysis, therapeutics, watersheds, China, Yangtze River
Psychoactive substances have been identified as a kind of emerging contaminants in aquatic environment and pose potential adverse effects on aquatic animals. Yangtze finless porpoise, a critically endangered species in China, is also facing the threat of psychoactive substances. In this study, the accumulation characteristics and risk prioritization of psychoactive substances were investigated in Yangtze finless porpoise collected from Poyang Lake (PYL) and Tian-E-Zhou Oxbow (TZO) in Yangtze River basin. The levels of psychoactive substances were detected in the range of below method detection limits (MDLs) to 98.4 ng/mL in the serum of Yangtze finless porpoise. Codeine (COD) and methamphetamine were identified as the major substances due to the highest residual levels with a median concentration of 0.72 ng/mL and 0.33 ng/mL, respectively. The total concentrations of psychoactive substances in the porpoise collected from TZO was significantly higher than those from PYL. Risk analysis based on effect ratio derived from the ratio of steady-state psychoactive substance serum concentration in the porpoise and human therapeutic plasma concentration revealed that COD was the substance with the highest risk among the psychoactive substances detected, followed by lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), morphine, alprazolam (ALPZ) and lormetazepam. Location-specific risk prioritization of psychoactive substances found that the top 3 substances are LSD, lorazepam (LORZ) and ALPZ in PYL, and COD, LSD and LORZ in TZO. The results disclose the accumulation of psychoactive substances in Yangtze finless porpoise and suggest that the potential adverse effects should be concerned.