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Article

Characteristics and Sources of Selected Halocarbon and Hydrocarbon Volatile Organic Compounds in Surface Water of the Han River Basin

1
Han River Environment Research Center, National Institute of Environmental Research, 42, Dumulmeori-gil 68beon-gil, Yangseo-myeon, Yangpyeong-gun 12585, Gyeonggi-do, Korea
2
Center for Reservoir and Aquatic Systems Research, Department of Environmental Science, Baylor University, Waco, TX 76798, USA
3
Brain Korea for Sustainable Health & Environment, Seoul National University, 1, Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 08826, Korea
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Lingzhan Miao and Jun Hou
Water 2021, 13(18), 2568; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13182568
Received: 6 August 2021 / Revised: 11 September 2021 / Accepted: 15 September 2021 / Published: 17 September 2021
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are ubiquitous pollutants in surface water, which is the main source of drinking water in South Korea. We investigated the behavior (concentration, distribution, and environmental risk) of eleven selected VOCs in the surface water of the Han River tributaries using purge-and-trap gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. The average concentration of VOCs was 0.29 ± 0.47 μg/L. Chloroform and trichloroethylene (TCE) were the major pollutants, accounting for approximately 64.2% and 25.6% of the total concentration, respectively, and showing that halocarbons accounted for 94%. Chloroform was positively correlated with TCE and xylenes, and TCE was positively correlated with tetrachloroethylene (PCE). No differences were observed in the temporal average concentrations of total VOCs, but the concentrations differed significantly among sub-watershed areas. The Imjin-Hantan River, Han River mainstream, and Anseong Stream watersheds had a high positive association with TCE, whereas the Bukhan and Namhan River watersheds had a strong positive link with chloroform. The contamination and detection frequency of VOCs were highest in industrial complexes, followed by urban and rural areas. Thus, point source pollution significantly contributed to VOC contamination of these tributaries. Risk quotients for most VOCs were <1, suggesting negligible risk. Considering the relatively high occurrence of VOCs and their potential ecological risks, continuous environmental monitoring and study of environmental impacts based on ecotoxicity studies of domestic aquatic species are warranted. View Full-Text
Keywords: chloroform; trichloroethylene; surface water; sewage treatment plant; wastewater treatment plant chloroform; trichloroethylene; surface water; sewage treatment plant; wastewater treatment plant
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MDPI and ACS Style

Im, J.K.; Kim, S.; Kim, Y.S.; Noh, H.R.; Lee, Y.-M.; Yu, S.J. Characteristics and Sources of Selected Halocarbon and Hydrocarbon Volatile Organic Compounds in Surface Water of the Han River Basin. Water 2021, 13, 2568. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13182568

AMA Style

Im JK, Kim S, Kim YS, Noh HR, Lee Y-M, Yu SJ. Characteristics and Sources of Selected Halocarbon and Hydrocarbon Volatile Organic Compounds in Surface Water of the Han River Basin. Water. 2021; 13(18):2568. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13182568

Chicago/Turabian Style

Im, Jong K., Sujin Kim, Young S. Kim, Hye R. Noh, Young-Min Lee, and Soon J. Yu. 2021. "Characteristics and Sources of Selected Halocarbon and Hydrocarbon Volatile Organic Compounds in Surface Water of the Han River Basin" Water 13, no. 18: 2568. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13182568

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