A National Survey of Trace Organic Contaminants in Australian Rivers

Philip D. Scott, Michael Bartkow, Stephen J. Blockwell, Heather Coleman, Stuart J. Khan, Richard Lim, James A. McDonald, Helen Nice, Dayanthi Nugegoda, Vincent Pettigrove, Louis A. Tremblay, Michael St. J. Warne, Frederic D. L. Leusch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Trace organic contaminant (TrOC) studies in Australia have, to date, focused on wastewater effluents, leaving a knowledge gap of their occurrence and risk in freshwater environments. This study measured 42 TrOCs including industrial compounds, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals and personal care products by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry at 73 river sites across Australia quarterly for 1 yr. Trace organic contaminants were found in 92% of samples, with a median of three compounds detected per sample (maximum 18). The five most commonly detected TrOCs were the pharmaceuticals salicylic acid (82%, maximum = 1530 ng/L), paracetamol (also known as acetaminophen; 45%, maximum = 7150 ng/L), and carbamazepine (27%, maximum = 682 ng/L), caffeine (65%, maximum = 3770 ng/L), and the flame retardant tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (44%, maximum = 184 ng/L). Pesticides were detected in 28% of the samples. To determine the risk posed by the detected TrOCs to the aquatic environment, hazard quotients were calculated by dividing the maximum concentration detected for each compound by the predicted no-effect concentrations. Three of the 42 compounds monitored (the pharmaceuticals carbamazepine and sulfamethoxazole and the herbicide simazine) had a hazard quotient >1, suggesting that they may be causing adverse effects at the most polluted sites. A further 10 compounds had hazard quotients >0.1, indicating a potential risk; these included four pharmaceuticals, three personal care products, and three pesticides. Most compounds had hazard quotients significantly
LanguageEnglish
Pages1702
JournalJournal of Environment Quality
Volume43
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sep 2014

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hazard
drug
pollutant
pesticide
river
simazine
salicylic acid
freshwater environment
aquatic environment
liquid chromatography
herbicide
mass spectrometry
phosphate
effluent
wastewater
effect
flame retardant
polluted site
PPCP
product

Keywords

  • chemical assays
  • biological assays
  • trace organic chemicals
  • oestrogenic and androgenic activity

Cite this

Scott, P. D., Bartkow, M., Blockwell, S. J., Coleman, H., Khan, S. J., Lim, R., ... Leusch, F. D. L. (2014). A National Survey of Trace Organic Contaminants in Australian Rivers. Journal of Environment Quality, 43(5), 1702. https://doi.org/10.2134/jeq2014.01.0012
Scott, Philip D. ; Bartkow, Michael ; Blockwell, Stephen J. ; Coleman, Heather ; Khan, Stuart J. ; Lim, Richard ; McDonald, James A. ; Nice, Helen ; Nugegoda, Dayanthi ; Pettigrove, Vincent ; Tremblay, Louis A. ; Warne, Michael St. J. ; Leusch, Frederic D. L. / A National Survey of Trace Organic Contaminants in Australian Rivers. In: Journal of Environment Quality. 2014 ; Vol. 43, No. 5. pp. 1702.
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Scott, PD, Bartkow, M, Blockwell, SJ, Coleman, H, Khan, SJ, Lim, R, McDonald, JA, Nice, H, Nugegoda, D, Pettigrove, V, Tremblay, LA, Warne, MSJ & Leusch, FDL 2014, 'A National Survey of Trace Organic Contaminants in Australian Rivers', Journal of Environment Quality, vol. 43, no. 5, pp. 1702. https://doi.org/10.2134/jeq2014.01.0012

A National Survey of Trace Organic Contaminants in Australian Rivers. / Scott, Philip D.; Bartkow, Michael; Blockwell, Stephen J.; Coleman, Heather; Khan, Stuart J.; Lim, Richard; McDonald, James A.; Nice, Helen; Nugegoda, Dayanthi; Pettigrove, Vincent; Tremblay, Louis A.; Warne, Michael St. J.; Leusch, Frederic D. L.

In: Journal of Environment Quality, Vol. 43, No. 5, 09.09.2014, p. 1702.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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