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A systematic review of emerging contaminants in the Greater Bay Area (GBA), China: Current baselines, knowledge gaps, and research and management priorities

A systematic review of emerging contaminants in the Greater Bay Area (GBA), China: Current baselines, knowledge gaps, and research and management priorities
A systematic review of emerging contaminants in the Greater Bay Area (GBA), China: Current baselines, knowledge gaps, and research and management priorities

Development of the Greater Bay area, China (GBA) has imposed significant pressures on ecosystems within the wider Pearl River Delta (PRD) system, including through inputs of contaminants from the GBA's rapidly expanding urban, industrial and agricultural activities. Here, we assess publication trends, sampling focus, and concentrations observed for a range of emerging contaminants (pharmaceutical and personal care products, pesticides, other endocrine disrupting chemicals, platinum group elements, and microplastics) in the GBA, via a systematic review of papers (n = 407) indexed in Science Direct, SpringerLink and Wiley Online databases. While emerging contaminants form the focus of increasing numbers of publications since 2006, they are understudied compared to more traditionally-measured contaminants (here, DDT and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, PAHs). BisphenolA was the most widely studied of the emerging contaminants (n = 41 studies) in the GBA, followed by macrolides (n = 32 studies). While multiple point measurements with high precision and low detection limits have been reported for various emerging contaminants, these have not been integrated for management purposes. A relatively high percentage of studies present data from single deployments (48% of studies, despite strong seasonality in the PRD system), data coverage is variable spatially, and reported contaminant concentrations vary significantly (over one to four orders of magnitude). We assess the currently published knowledge under the Source-Pathway-Receptor contaminant linkage model and use this to identify (a) current research emphasis in relation to assessment of contaminant risk, and (b) key knowledge gaps around sources, pathways and receptors in the GBA system.

Emerging contaminants, Environmental baseline, Pearl River Delta, Pearl River Estuary, Risk management
1462-9011
196-208
Cundy, A. B.
994fdc96-2dce-40f4-b74b-dc638286eb08
Rowlands, F. M.
d76b52a5-62f0-485d-970d-c1175b014fb6
Lu, G.
7f3be495-76e2-46e4-8596-14128101e089
Wang, W. X.
299d9743-39ce-42db-a04c-14b2df75c0a4
Cundy, A. B.
994fdc96-2dce-40f4-b74b-dc638286eb08
Rowlands, F. M.
d76b52a5-62f0-485d-970d-c1175b014fb6
Lu, G.
7f3be495-76e2-46e4-8596-14128101e089
Wang, W. X.
299d9743-39ce-42db-a04c-14b2df75c0a4

Cundy, A. B., Rowlands, F. M., Lu, G. and Wang, W. X. (2022) A systematic review of emerging contaminants in the Greater Bay Area (GBA), China: Current baselines, knowledge gaps, and research and management priorities. Environmental Science and Policy, 131, 196-208. (doi:10.1016/j.envsci.2022.02.002).

Record type: Review

Abstract

Development of the Greater Bay area, China (GBA) has imposed significant pressures on ecosystems within the wider Pearl River Delta (PRD) system, including through inputs of contaminants from the GBA's rapidly expanding urban, industrial and agricultural activities. Here, we assess publication trends, sampling focus, and concentrations observed for a range of emerging contaminants (pharmaceutical and personal care products, pesticides, other endocrine disrupting chemicals, platinum group elements, and microplastics) in the GBA, via a systematic review of papers (n = 407) indexed in Science Direct, SpringerLink and Wiley Online databases. While emerging contaminants form the focus of increasing numbers of publications since 2006, they are understudied compared to more traditionally-measured contaminants (here, DDT and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, PAHs). BisphenolA was the most widely studied of the emerging contaminants (n = 41 studies) in the GBA, followed by macrolides (n = 32 studies). While multiple point measurements with high precision and low detection limits have been reported for various emerging contaminants, these have not been integrated for management purposes. A relatively high percentage of studies present data from single deployments (48% of studies, despite strong seasonality in the PRD system), data coverage is variable spatially, and reported contaminant concentrations vary significantly (over one to four orders of magnitude). We assess the currently published knowledge under the Source-Pathway-Receptor contaminant linkage model and use this to identify (a) current research emphasis in relation to assessment of contaminant risk, and (b) key knowledge gaps around sources, pathways and receptors in the GBA system.

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Cundy et al 2022 GBA review accepted MS - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 3 February 2022
e-pub ahead of print date: 15 February 2022
Published date: May 2022
Additional Information: Funding Information: This work was supported by a collaborative research grant award from the Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Guangzhou) ( GML2019ZD0409 ) and ( SMSEGL20SC01-V ). The authors are grateful to two anonymous reviewers for constructive comments that helped improve and clarify this manuscript. Publisher Copyright: © 2022 Elsevier Ltd Copyright: Copyright 2022 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
Keywords: Emerging contaminants, Environmental baseline, Pearl River Delta, Pearl River Estuary, Risk management

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 455433
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/455433
ISSN: 1462-9011
PURE UUID: 2edf8997-bbf7-427b-819b-7946d2622fc5
ORCID for A. B. Cundy: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4368-2569

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 21 Mar 2022 17:54
Last modified: 20 Jul 2022 01:49

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Contributors

Author: A. B. Cundy ORCID iD
Author: F. M. Rowlands
Author: G. Lu
Author: W. X. Wang

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