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Journal of Analytical Methods in Chemistry
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 419349, 8 pages
Research Article

Occurrence and Removal Characteristics of Phthalate Esters from Typical Water Sources in Northeast China

State Key Laboratory of Urban Water Resource and Environment, School of Municipal and Environmental Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150090, China

Received 21 December 2012; Accepted 3 February 2013

Academic Editor: Fei Qi

Copyright © 2013 Yu Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The presence of phthalate esters (PAEs) in the environment has gained a considerable attention due to their potential impacts on public health. This study reports the first data on the occurrence of 15 PAEs in the water near the Mopanshan Reservoir—the new and important water source of Harbin city in Northeast China. As drinking water is a major source for human exposure to PAEs, the fate of target PAEs in the two waterworks (Mopanshan Waterworks and Seven Waterworks) was also analyzed. The results demonstrated that the total concentrations of 15 PAEs in the water near the Mopanshan Reservoir were relatively moderate, ranging from 355.8 to 9226.5 ng/L, with the mean value of 2943.1 ng/L. DBP and DEHP dominated the PAE concentrations, which ranged from 52.5 to 4498.2 ng/L and 128.9 to 6570.9 ng/L, respectively. The occurrence and concentrations of these compounds were heavily spatially dependent. Meanwhile, the results on the waterworks samples suggested no significant differences in PAE levels with the input of the raw waters. Without effective and stable removal of PAEs after the conventional drinking water treatment in the waterworks (25.8% to 76.5%), the risks posed by PAEs through drinking water ingestion were still existing, which should be paid special attention to the source control in the Mopanshan Reservoir and some advanced treatment processes for drinking water supplies.