Residues of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in aquatic environment and risk assessment along Shaying River, China

Ying Bai, Xiaohong Ruan, Jan Peter van der Hoek

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Organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) are pesticides with global scale ubiquity, persistence and bioaccumulation, which leave long-term residuals in the water body. OCPs’ high toxicity poses significant threats to human health and aquatic biodiversity, making assessment of OCPs’ impact on aquatic ecology and human health urgently necessary. In this research, the presence of 16 OCPs in surface water and groundwater along Shaying River, China, as well as OCPs concentration correlations, was investigated at 24 selected sampling sites. At the same time, the ecological risk and human carcinogenic risk were also analyzed by risk quotient method and USEPA’s Risk Assessment Guidance, respectively. Results showed that the total concentration of OCPs ranged from 21.0 to 61.4 ng L−1 in groundwater, and 12.3–77.5 ng L−1 in surface water. Hexachlorocyclohexane (HCHs) and heptachlor were the prominent contaminants in groundwater, which indicated their use in the recent past and confirmed their persistence. The α-HCH/γ-HCH ratios in groundwater confirmed that γ-HCH (lindane) was used as main substitute of technical HCH in the study area. The correlation analysis illustrated that δ-HCH and γ-HCH played a dominant role in HCHs residue. Heptachlor and α-HCH, as well as endosulfan and heptachlor epoxide, had a strongly significant positive correlation, suggesting an associated usage of the two pair OCPs. An extremely high ecological risk for aquatic organism was observed for γ-HCH, heptachlor and dieldrin, while the carcinogenic risks posed by the selected OCPs in surface water and groundwater were all acceptable.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Geochemistry and Health: official journal of the Society for Environmental Geochemistry and Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Organochlorine pesticides
  • Surface water and groundwater
  • Risk assessment

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