Determining the leading sources of N-nitrosamines and dissolved organic matter in four reservoirs in Southern China

Jiaxing Zhang, Tahir Maqbool, Yu Qiu, Yanling Qin, Muhammad Bilal Asif, Chao Chen, Zhenghua Zhang

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The presence of carcinogenic N-nitrosamines and dissolved organic matter (DOM) in freshwater is a significant concern from the perspective of public health and drinking water treatment plant operation. This study investigated the N-nitrosamines concentration and their precursors' distributions, and DOM composition in four reservoirs located in a southern city of China. A total of 22 renowned precursors were identified. Precursors from industrial and pharmaceutical origins were found to be dominant in all reservoirs; however, traces of pesticide-based precursors, i.e. pirimicarb and cycluron were also found. The distribution of nine N-nitrosamines was substantially different among the reservoirs. N-Nitrosodibutylamine (NDBA), N-Nitrosopiperidine (NPIP), N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), and N-Nitrosopyrrolidine (NPYR) were abundantly present in all reservoirs. Most of N-nitrosamines except NDMA and N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA) were far below the generally accepted cancer risk of 10−6, and NDMA/NDEA were found close to the risk level (10−6). Anthropogenic DOM was dominant in three reservoirs as depicted by a higher biological index (BIX) than the humification index (HIX). By the principle component analysis, BIX appeared as an indicator of N-nitrosamines (except NDEA and NPIP). A strong and direct relationship was observed between the NDMA-formation potential (FP) and concentration of total N-nitrosamines (∑NA), and BIX. These results confirmed that the anthropogenic activities were the leading source of DOM and N-nitrosamines in this city based on land-use.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - Jun 1 2021
Externally publishedYes

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Generated from Scopus record by KAUST IRTS on 2023-09-23


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