Water Pollution and Its Impact on Human Health

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water Quality and Contamination".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2022) | Viewed by 27330

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430072, China
Interests: water quality; water pollution; aquatic organism; aquatic ecosystem; bioremediation
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Guest Editor
School of Life Science, Shanxi University, Taiyuan, China
Interests: surface water quality; freshwater ecology

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Guest Editor
School of Environmental Studies, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China
Interests: biogeochemistry of toxic materials; soil and groundwater contamination and prevention; environmental health; pollution ecotoxicology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Water is very important for survival. We need clean water for drinking, irrigation, and many other purposes, but it is often polluted by chemicals such as heavy metals, lead, pesticides, and hydrocarbon, which cause hormonal and reproductive problems and damage the nervous system, liver, and kidney. Water pollution and its impact on human health have been a topic of concern worldwide since the 20th century. Many studies have been conducted to identify the link between water pollution and human health, while other research has focused on the treatments and technology for the removal of or reduction in the effects of water pollution on the human health. The objective of this Special Issue is to demonstrate the current status and new innovations in water pollution and its impact on human health. The topics include but are not limited to water pollution status, new types of pollutants, new pollution mechanisms, new evaluation methods, effect pathways, toxicity, human health risks, etc.

Prof. Dr. Yonghong Bi
Prof. Dr. Jia Feng
Prof. Dr. Zuoming Xie
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • water pollution
  • water quality
  • poisonous substance/toxicant
  • persistent organic pollutant
  • heavy metal
  • pesticides
  • pollution pathway
  • human health risk
  • water bloom
  • disinfection byproducts

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

8 pages, 666 KiB  
Article
Distribution Pattern of Dioxins in Sediment Cores from the Xiangxi River, a Tributary of Three Gorges Reservoir, China
by Bei Zhou, Kongxian Zhu, Yonghong Bi, Bernhard Henkelmann, Silke Bernhöft, Wujuan Mi and Karl-Werner Schramm
Water 2023, 15(1), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15010057 - 24 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1507
Abstract
Sediment cores were collected from the Xiangxi River, a tributary of the Three Gorges Reservoir, the deposition time in the longest sediment core (90 cm) was measured by radiometry (137Cs, 210Pb) activities and polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/furan (PCDD/F) concentrations in different depths [...] Read more.
Sediment cores were collected from the Xiangxi River, a tributary of the Three Gorges Reservoir, the deposition time in the longest sediment core (90 cm) was measured by radiometry (137Cs, 210Pb) activities and polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/furan (PCDD/F) concentrations in different depths of the sediment core were measured. The results indicated that the mean deposition rate was 1.01 cm/a. The total PCDD/F concentrations ranged from 19.28 to 70.07 pg/g d.w. with a mean of 35.06 pg/g d.w. PCDD/Fs in the 1960–1990s were higher than others, which were significantly different in the various layers and cores (p < 0.05). PCDD occupied 63.42–87.33% of PCDD/Fs, and octachlorianted debenzo-p-dioxin (OCDD) was the predominant congener. The ratio of PCDD to PCDF was 2.26–8.08. PCDD/Fs significantly correlated with total organic carbon (TOC) (p < 0.01). The toxic equivalent (TEQ) ranged from 0.15 to 0.98 pg/g d.w. No significant difference was found in TEQ (p > 0.05). It was concluded that the spatio-temporal heterogeneity determined by hydrodynamics and total organic carbon (TOC) was the distribution pattern of PCDD/Fs in the sediment cores of Xiangxi River, the concentrations of PCDD/Fs were low, with a low environmental pollution risk, and by-products of sodium pentachlorophenate might be the main source. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Pollution and Its Impact on Human Health)
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16 pages, 4372 KiB  
Article
Molecular Responses Mechanism of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 to Cadmium Stress
by Gang Ruan, Wujuan Mi, Xuwang Yin, Gaofei Song and Yonghong Bi
Water 2022, 14(24), 4032; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14244032 - 10 Dec 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2159
Abstract
Cadmium is one of the major heavy metal pollutants in the environment. However, the toxicity targets and response mechanisms in photosynthetic organisms to cadmium are lacking. This study explored the physiological response of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 to cadmium stress; the toxicity targets [...] Read more.
Cadmium is one of the major heavy metal pollutants in the environment. However, the toxicity targets and response mechanisms in photosynthetic organisms to cadmium are lacking. This study explored the physiological response of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 to cadmium stress; the toxicity targets and the resistance mechanism were screened. The results showed that cadmium led to an increase in reactive oxygen species content, superoxide dismutase activity, and the lipid peroxidation level, which damaged the cell’s photosynthesis and ultrastructure. The cross-omics analysis found 1073 differentially expressed genes (DEGs), of which only 84 genes had the same expression trend at the mRNA and protein levels. The bioinformatics analysis found that the toxic effects of cadmium were inhibiting the expression of the proteins for the photosynthesis-antenna, photosynthesis, and ribosome pathway. The cell’s response included the upregulation of proteins related to the two-component system, biosynthesis, and ABC transporter pathway. The study confirmed that the target sites of cadmium were chlorophyll a synthesis, photosynthetic electron transport chains, and ribosomes; the response mechanism to cadmium toxicity was the upregulation of the ABC transporter pathway and its protein expression. This study provides evidence to obtain insight into the toxicity targets and molecular response mechanism of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 to cadmium stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Pollution and Its Impact on Human Health)
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20 pages, 16222 KiB  
Article
Contamination of Water Supply Sources by Heavy Metals: The Price of Development in Bolivia, a Latin American Reality
by Paola Andrea Alvizuri-Tintaya, Esteban Manuel Villena-Martínez, Nithya Avendaño-Acosta, Vanesa Gladys Lo-Iacono-Ferreira, Juan Ignacio Torregrosa-López and Jaime Lora-García
Water 2022, 14(21), 3470; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14213470 - 30 Oct 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3211
Abstract
Like other Latin American countries, Bolivia is in the race towards development, which has caused many economic activities to be carried out without due consideration for the care of the environment. At this point, it is essential to carry out environmental inventories to [...] Read more.
Like other Latin American countries, Bolivia is in the race towards development, which has caused many economic activities to be carried out without due consideration for the care of the environment. At this point, it is essential to carry out environmental inventories to preserve the quality of ecosystems and natural resources, such as water. As water is vital, it needs to be adequately monitored and managed to prevent its degradation. This research presents the results of monitoring the main sources of water supply in two continuously growing departments of Bolivia, La Paz, and Tarija. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the suitability of the water to which the population has access, with particular attention to heavy metals with concentrations that exceed the permitted limits. The metals found were arsenic, chromium, mercury, manganese, iron, zinc, and tin in the Milluni area, and lead, iron, and manganese in the Guadalquivir area. Exposing the presence of metals in water sources implies immediate attention by decision-makers to take action to reduce the risk to public health. In addition, this study exposes a Bolivian reality that could encourage other countries in similar contexts to conduct similar studies on their water sources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Pollution and Its Impact on Human Health)
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14 pages, 2689 KiB  
Article
Toxicological Effects of Mercuric Chloride Exposure on Scenedesmus quadricauda
by Yuheng Ge, Xudong Liu, Fangru Nan, Qi Liu, Junping Lv, Jia Feng and Shulian Xie
Water 2022, 14(20), 3228; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14203228 - 13 Oct 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1973
Abstract
Mercuric chloride (HgCl2) is a common heavy-metal pollutant widely used in commercial products and industry, but its excessive use and uncontrolled discharge have caused great harm to aquatic environments and human health. To research the mechanisms of HgCl2 toxicity in [...] Read more.
Mercuric chloride (HgCl2) is a common heavy-metal pollutant widely used in commercial products and industry, but its excessive use and uncontrolled discharge have caused great harm to aquatic environments and human health. To research the mechanisms of HgCl2 toxicity in aquatic organisms, this study cultured the green alga Scenedesmus quadricauda in a gradient of HgCl2 concentrations (0, 0.1, 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, and 0.9 mg/L) for 9 days. The results showed that: (1) when the concentrations of HgCl2 were high (≥0.7 mg/L), the toxic effects completely inhibited the growth of algal cells, the culture liquid changed from green to light yellow, and cells aggregated and sank to the bottom. Submicroscopic structural imaging showed that at 0.9 mg/L HgCl2, the algal cells were seriously damaged and obvious plasma–wall separation occurred. Furthermore, the arrangement of photosynthetic lamellae became disordered and the nuclei and protein nuclei faded or even disappeared. (2) When the concentrations of HgCl2 were low and medium (≤0.5 mg/L), the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) in algal cells increased in the first five days, but the degree of increase was smaller than in the control group. However, under high HgCl2 concentrations (≥0.7 mg/L), the activity of SOD began to decrease sharply on the seventh day. The activity of peroxidase (POD) decreased more obviously than that of SOD. (3) Under medium and high HgCl2 concentrations (≥0.5 mg/L), the content of malondialdehyde (MDA) in algal cells increased over time, and had not decreased again by the last day of measurement. In contrast, the contents of total protein (TP) and soluble sugar (SS) both exhibited decreasing trends under high HgCl2 concentrations. (4) When the HgCl2 concentrations were ≥0.7 mg/L, the content of photosynthetic pigments in algal cells decreased, and the light quantum yield of PS Ⅱ decreased. At the same time, as culture time progressed, the photosynthetic electron transfer and energy-conversion efficiency were seriously damaged and photosynthesis never returned to normal levels. This research provides a reference for understanding the mechanism by which HgCl2 pollution affects aquatic ecosystems and may help with pollution management in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Pollution and Its Impact on Human Health)
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11 pages, 2640 KiB  
Article
Relationship between Chlorophyll a and Environmental Factors in Lakes Based on the Random Forest Algorithm
by Hanjie Huang, Wei Wang, Junping Lv, Qi Liu, Xudong Liu, Shulian Xie, Fei Wang and Jia Feng
Water 2022, 14(19), 3128; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14193128 - 4 Oct 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 4176
Abstract
Chlorophyll a concentration is an important indicator to characterize phytoplankton biomass, which further reflects the water quality of lakes. Based on the data of chlorophyll a concentration and environmental factors extracted from the ChlaData, HydroLAKES, and HELLAKES databases for Chinese lakes for three [...] Read more.
Chlorophyll a concentration is an important indicator to characterize phytoplankton biomass, which further reflects the water quality of lakes. Based on the data of chlorophyll a concentration and environmental factors extracted from the ChlaData, HydroLAKES, and HELLAKES databases for Chinese lakes for three years (2000, 2005, and 2010), we used the random forest model and the generalized linear model to analyze the relationship between chlorophyll a concentration and environmental factors in Chinese lakes and predict the chlorophyll a concentration. The results showed that the relative importance of environmental factors for chlorophyll a was as follows: nutrient salt concentration > longitude and latitude > monthly mean precipitation > altitude > annual average temperature. The coefficient of determination of the random forest model was 0.9997 (R2 = 0.9997), and the root-mean-square error was 0.0010 (RMSE = 0.0010), with high prediction accuracy. The random forest model and the generalized linear model both showed that TP was the main influencing factor of chlorophyll a concentration. The validation results based on the measured data show that the models are reliable. By making more accurate predictions of chlorophyll a concentrations, we can facilitate the prevention, control, and treatment of lake blooms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Pollution and Its Impact on Human Health)
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15 pages, 3145 KiB  
Article
Structural Characteristics of Periphytic Algal Community and Its Relationship with Environmental Factors in the Taiyuan Region of the Fenhe River
by Kangxu Zhao, Jing Yang, Junping Lv, Qi Liu, Xudong Liu, Shulian Xie and Jia Feng
Water 2022, 14(14), 2151; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14142151 - 6 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2409
Abstract
In order to explore the characteristics of the periphytic algae community structure and its relationship with environmental factors in the Taiyuan region of the Fenhe River, a total of six sampling sites were investigated in July and December 2021. The effects of water [...] Read more.
In order to explore the characteristics of the periphytic algae community structure and its relationship with environmental factors in the Taiyuan region of the Fenhe River, a total of six sampling sites were investigated in July and December 2021. The effects of water quality status and environmental factors at each sampling point on the community structure of epiphytes were detected. The results showed that a total of 7 phyla and 54 genera of periphytic algae were identified in the Taiyuan region of the Fenhe River, and the species composition was mainly Bacillariophyta, Cyanophyta, and Chlorophyta. According to the analysis results of the biodiversity index, the water body of the Taiyuan region of the Fenhe River is in a state of moderate pollution. The correlation analysis between the epiphytic algae and environmental factors showed that the cell density of algae was significantly correlated with dissolved oxygen (DO), phosphate (PO43-P), chemical oxygen demand (COD), total phosphorus (TP), and transparency (SD) in the wet season. The algal cell density in the dry season was significantly correlated with water temperature (WT), TP, PO43-P, and COD. According to the redundancy analysis, the community distribution of the epiphytic algae in the Taiyuan region of the Fenhe River was closely related to physical and chemical factors such as COD, nitrate nitrogen (NO3 -N), WT, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), total nitrogen (TN), and TP, and COD is the main environmental factor driving the change in the community distribution of the periphytic algae in the wet season. TN is the main control factor driving the change in the biological community distribution of periphytic algae in the dry season. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Pollution and Its Impact on Human Health)
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15 pages, 4598 KiB  
Article
Influence of Sulfate Reduction on Arsenic Migration and Transformation in Groundwater Environment
by Enyang Liu, Yang Yang, Zuoming Xie, Jia Wang and Mengna Chen
Water 2022, 14(6), 942; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14060942 - 17 Mar 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2478
Abstract
The sulfate-reducing bacteria-mediated reduction process is considered to be an important mechanism affecting arsenic migration and transformation in anaerobic environments. To investigate the effect of sulfate-reducing bacteria in a high-arsenic aquifer on arsenic migration and transformation, the typical sulfate-reducing bacteria Desulfovibrio vulgaris was [...] Read more.
The sulfate-reducing bacteria-mediated reduction process is considered to be an important mechanism affecting arsenic migration and transformation in anaerobic environments. To investigate the effect of sulfate-reducing bacteria in a high-arsenic aquifer on arsenic migration and transformation, the typical sulfate-reducing bacteria Desulfovibrio vulgaris was selected for micro-cosmic experiments to simulate a groundwater environment with or without sulfate amendment. The reduction of Fe(III) and As(V) by Desulfovibrio vulgaris was identified, and Fe(III) and As(V) were reduced in both sulfate-free and sulfate-containing systems. However, the addition of 1 mM sulfate significantly enhanced Fe(III) and As(V) reduction. Compared with no sulfate addition, 1 mM sulfate increased the reduction rates of Fe(III) and As(V) by 111.9% and 402.2%, respectively. The sulfate process mediated by Desulfovibrio vulgaris also remarkably promoted arsenic release in sediments. These results indicated that sulfate concentration should be considered when sulfate reduction is used as a remediation method for arsenic pollution in groundwater. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Pollution and Its Impact on Human Health)
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11 pages, 1687 KiB  
Article
Fluoride Adsorption Comparison from Aqueous Solutions Using Al- and La-Modified Adsorbent Prepared from Polygonum orientale Linn.
by Shengli Shi, Kangxu Zhao, Qiyue Zhao, Aiguo Luo, Shulian Xie and Jia Feng
Water 2022, 14(4), 592; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14040592 - 15 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2124
Abstract
Al- and La-modified adsorbent materials (PO–Al, PO–La) were prepared by impregnating Polygonum orientale Linn. straw with Al2(SO4)3 and La(NO3)3·6H2O solutions. The potential of removing fluoride using these modified adsorbents was examined. In [...] Read more.
Al- and La-modified adsorbent materials (PO–Al, PO–La) were prepared by impregnating Polygonum orientale Linn. straw with Al2(SO4)3 and La(NO3)3·6H2O solutions. The potential of removing fluoride using these modified adsorbents was examined. In the PO, PO–Al and PO–La adsorption systems, the fluoride adsorption process followed pseudo-second-order kinetics, and the kinetic constants for k2 and R2 were 0.0276 and 0.9609; 0.2070 and 0.9994; 0.1266 and 0.9933, respectively. The adsorption equilibrium results showed the best match with Langmuir isotherms. Moreover, the maximum monolayer adsorption capacity of PO, PO–Al and PO–La are 0.0923, 3.3190 and 1.2514 mg/g, respectively, in 30 °C. The regeneration results show that the effectively regenerating ability of modified adsorbents. Al-modified adsorbent showed the best results in terms of cost-effectiveness and adsorption efficiency for fluoride adsorption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Pollution and Its Impact on Human Health)
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11 pages, 1120 KiB  
Article
A Comparative Study of the Growth and Nutrient Removal Effects of Five Green Microalgae in Simulated Domestic Sewage
by Li Ji, Qili Ge, Yuan Li, Yifan Gao and Shulian Xie
Water 2021, 13(24), 3613; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13243613 - 16 Dec 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3250
Abstract
Microalgae have shown great potential in wastewater treatment. This study evaluates the growth and nutrient removal characteristics of five different microalgae strains, namely Chlorella vulgaris, Tetradesmus obliquus, Parachlorella kessleri, Hydrodictyon sp., and Scenedesmus quadricauda, in simulated domestic wastewater. The [...] Read more.
Microalgae have shown great potential in wastewater treatment. This study evaluates the growth and nutrient removal characteristics of five different microalgae strains, namely Chlorella vulgaris, Tetradesmus obliquus, Parachlorella kessleri, Hydrodictyon sp., and Scenedesmus quadricauda, in simulated domestic wastewater. The five microalgae could adapt to wastewater, but the growth potential and nitrogen removal capacity were species dependent. The nutrient removal effect of the microalgae used in this experiment was about 50% in the first two days. Parachlorella kessleri, selected from the five strains of green algae, shows good potential in removing nutrients from simulated domestic wastewater. For the simulated domestic sewage treated with Parachlorella kessleri, the chemical oxygen demand was almost completely reduced, and ammonium-N (NH4-N) and total nitrogen (TN) removal exceeded 70% at the end of the 10-day treatment. Total phosphorus (TP) removal was slightly worse, more than 65%. Parachlorella kessleri showed the best growth in sewage with the highest biomass reaching 366.67 mg L−1 and the highest specific growth rate reaching 0.538 d−1. This study can provide a reference for selecting suitable microalgae species to treat actual domestic sewage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Pollution and Its Impact on Human Health)
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17 pages, 1948 KiB  
Article
Effects of Combined Nitrogen Deficient and Mixotrophic (+Glucose) Culture on the Lipid Accumulation of Parachlorella Kessleri TY
by Yifan Gao, Li Ji, Jia Feng, Junping Lv and Shulian Xie
Water 2021, 13(21), 3066; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13213066 - 2 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1800
Abstract
The combustion explosion of ordinary diesel is a global environmental problem. Green microalgae, which do not cause eutrophication, are a raw material that can be used to clean biodiesel. To increase lipid productivity, this study used a nitrogen deficient & mixotrophic (+Glucose) culture [...] Read more.
The combustion explosion of ordinary diesel is a global environmental problem. Green microalgae, which do not cause eutrophication, are a raw material that can be used to clean biodiesel. To increase lipid productivity, this study used a nitrogen deficient & mixotrophic (+Glucose) culture of lipid-producing microalgae Parachlorella kessleri TY from Shanxi Province, China. To examine the growth of P. kessleri TY, we measured dry weight, chlorophyll content, and chlorophyll fluorescence intensity under different culture conditions, in addition to the contents of neutral lipids, total lipids, and fatty acids, to examine its lipid accumulation ability. Cells were cultured in autotrophic, nitrogen deficient, mixotrophic (+Glucose), and nitrogen deficient & mixotrophic (+Glucose) conditions for 7 days. We found the growth of P. kessleri TY under nitrogen deficient & mixotrophic conditions was higher than that under the autotrophic and nitrogen deficient conditions, but lower than that under the mixotrophic (+Glucose) conditions. However, its lipid accumulation ability was significantly higher than that of control cultures. In conclusion, P. kessleri TY cultured under nitrogen-deficient and mixotrophic (+Glucose) conditions has significant lipid production capacity. Our results provide a theoretical basis for the use of microalgae as a raw material in the production of biodiesel, and promote the application of P. kessleri TY in large-scale production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Pollution and Its Impact on Human Health)
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