Microplastics’ Pollution and Risk Assessment in an Urban River: A Case Study in the Yongjiang River, Nanning City, South China
- 76 Downloads
Microplastics (MPs) have been considered as a global environmental problem threatening the ecological security. However, studies on MPs’ pollution in freshwaters and the associated risk assessment remain limited in the literature. In this study, the concentrations, distributions, and the potential ecological risks of MPs were analyzed in Yongjiang River, which is an important drinking water source flowing through Nanning City, the mega city of China. The MPs’ abundances in surface waters and sediments ranged from 500 to 7700 n/m3 and from 90 to 550 n/kg, respectively. Spatial distribution highlighted the significant impact of anthropogenic activity on the MPs’ accumulation. Polyethylene and polypropylene were the most common polymer compositions investigated. Shape, size, and color were examined to analyze the characteristics of MPs in the river. To assess the ecological risk of MPs, the predicted no-effect concentration (PNEC) values were derived from a species’ sensitivity distribution model based on the toxicity data of MPs for freshwater species available in the literature. The PNEC for MPs in surface water was derived to be 4920 n/m3. Risk assessment results through risk quotient (RQ) method suggest that most of the monitored sites in Yongjiang River posed negligible risks to freshwater biota, except the two sites with high risk in the urban center. The results provided a basis for ecological risk assessment of MPs in freshwaters.
KeywordsMicroplastics (MPs) Yongjiang River Drinking water source Ecological risk assessment Species sensitivity distribution (SSD)
This work was supported jointly by the Funding Project of Sino-Africa Joint Research Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. Y623321K01); the Key Laboratory of Algal Biology, Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. 2017-001); the Hundred Talents Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. Y329671K01); and the Natural Science Foundation of Hubei Province of China (Grant No. 2016CFB284).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no competing financial interest.
- Environmental Protection Agency (1985) Guidelines for deriving numerical national water quality criteria for the protection of aquatic organisms and their uses (PB85-227049). USEPA, Washington DCGoogle Scholar
- European Commission (2006) Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the european parliament and of the council of 18 December 2006 concerning the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals (REACH). European UnionGoogle Scholar
- Guilhermino L, Vieira LR, Ribeiro D, Tavares AS, Cardoso V, Alves A, Almeida JM (2018) Uptake and effects of the antimicrobial florfenicol, microplastics and their mixtures on freshwater exotic invasive bivalve Corbicula fluminea. Sci Total Environ 622–623:1131–1142. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.12.020 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Horton AA, Walton A, Spurgeon DJ, Lahive E, Svendsen C (2017) Microplastics in freshwater and terrestrial environments: evaluating the current understanding to identify the knowledge gaps and future research priorities. Sci Total Environ 586:127–141. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.01.190 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- PlasticsEurope (2018) Plastics—the Facts 2017, an analysis of European latest plastics production, demand and waste data. www.plasticseurope.org
- Rodrigues MO, Abrantes N, Goncalves FJM, Nogueira H, Marques JC, Goncalves AMM (2018) Spatial and temporal distribution of microplastics in water and sediments of a freshwater system (Antua River, Portugal). Sci Total Environ 633:1549–1559. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.03.233 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Wang JD, Peng JP, Tan Z, Gao YF, Zhan ZW, Chen QQ, Cai LQ (2017a) Microplastics in the surface sediments from the Beijiang River littoral zone: composition, abundance, surface textures and interaction with heavy metals. Chemosphere 171:248–258. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2016.12.074 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Xue B, Zhang R, Wang Y, Liu X, Li J, Zhang G (2013) Antibiotic contamination in a typical developing city in south China: occurrence and ecological risks in the Yongjiang River impacted by tributary discharge and anthropogenic activities. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 92:229–236. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2013.02.009 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Ziajahromi S, Kumar A, Neale PA, Leusch FDL (2017) Impact of microplastic beads and fibers on waterflea (Ceriodaphnia dubia) survival, growth, and reproduction: implications of single and mixture exposures. Environ Sci Technol 51:13397–13406. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.7b03574 CrossRefGoogle Scholar