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Ecotoxicology. 2014 May;23(4):567-76. doi: 10.1007/s10646-014-1176-z. Epub 2014 Jan 12.

Health risk assessment of semi-volatile organic pollutants in Lhasa River China.

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  • 1State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, School of the Environment, Nanjing University (Xianlin Campus), 163 Xianlin Avenue, Nanjing, 210023, People's Republic of China.


The semi-volatile organic compounds in Lhasa River were determined qualitatively and quantitatively by gas chromatography method with mass spectrometric detection. Total concentrations of 23 organic pollutants in samples from five sites ranged from 1.56 to 2.78 μg/L. The average concentrations for ΣPAEs, ΣPAHs and ΣBTEXs obtained in this study were 1.53, 0.33 and 0.51 μg/L, respectively. Moreover, the results of analysis of variable showed that there were significant differences (P < 0.05) among the sites for levels of ΣPAHs, ΣPAEs and ΣBTEXs. Cluster analysis was applied to detect spatial similarity for grouping of sites under the monitoring network. The results indicated that the five sites in this study could be divided into two significant groups, i.e. low and high pollutant groups. Health risk assessment was conducted by multimedia environmental goals (MEG), risk quotient (RQ) for each pollutant and hazard quotient (HQ) approach from USA ecological risk assessment (ERA) for screening stage. Calculated both total ambient severity and RQ were less than 1 and therefore minimal risk to human and ecological health. For analysis results of HQ, whether for the ingestion exposure or dermal adsorption pathway were all less than 1, the results also agreed with the RQ model and MEG model for evaluating the potential for adverse health effects due to exposure semi-volatile organic compounds from surface water. Therefore, SVOCs in Lhasa River posed little or no threat to the health of local consumers and ecological environment.

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