Phthalate esters (PAEs) in soil and vegetables in solar greenhouses irrigated with reclaimed water.Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2020 Jun; 27(18):22658-22669.ES
Phthalate esters (PAEs) in environments have become a public concern due to their harmful impacts on human and environments, and waste/reclaimed water irrigation maybe one of their sources in agricultural soil. A field experiment was setup to analyze the impacts of reclaimed water irrigation on levels of PAEs in vegetables and topsoil in solar greenhouse on the North China Plain during 2015 and 2016. There were 6 varieties of vegetables. For each variety, there were three irrigation treatments, including groundwater irrigation, reclaimed water irrigation, and alternative irrigation with groundwater and reclaimed water (1:1, v/v). The results show that the levels of the 6 PAEs in soil and vegetables varied between 0.73 and 9.48 mg/kg and 1.89 and 6.35 mg/kg, respectively. There were no significant differences for PAE concentrations among these different treatments at each vegetable harvest (p > 0.05). For both soil and vegetable samples, Di-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP) and Di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) were the most dominant PAEs, with contents of 0.39-4.43 mg/kg and 0.25-6.31 mg/kg, respectively, contributing12.5-74.60% and 21.24-76.48% of the total 6 PAEs, respectively. The contents of DnBP and dimethyl phthalate (DMP) in topsoil were higher than the suggested allowable values, while the concentration of each individual PAE in topsoil was lower than the suggested cleanup objectives. The levels of 6 PAEs, DEHP, and DnBP in vegetables were below the reference doses. The yields of eggplant, cauliflower, bean, cabbage, cucumber, and carrot were 64.4-67.0 t/ha, 10.9-13.0 t/ha, 12.3-15.1 t/ha, 17.3-17.5 t/ha, 43.9-44.5 t/ha, and 19.0-22.9 t/ha, respectively, and no significant differences were found among these different treatments for each kind of vegetable. The bioaccumulation factors (BCFs) of 6 PAEs in vegetable samples were 0.43-5.79 and the corresponding values for each PAE were 0.00-27.32, respectively. The BCFs of butyl benzyl phthalate were the greatest (with a mean of 9.28), followed by DEHP (with a mean of 3.03) and DMP (with a mean of 1.90). In one word, the reclaimed water in this study did not affect the vegetable yields obviously. PAE levels in soil and vegetables irrigated with reclaimed water were in the acceptable range. Considering the difference of reclaimed water quality of Sewage Treatment Plants in different areas, so more reclaimed water from different areas is needed to assess the impacts of reclaimed water irrigation on PAE contamination in soil and vegetables.