Organic Contaminants in Groundwater; Vietnam

Duong HT, Kadokami K, Chau HT, Nguyen TQ, Nguyen TT, Kong L. Groundwater screening for 940 organic micro-pollutants in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Environmental Science and Pollution Research International. 2015 Aug 20.

Groundwater is the main source of drinking water for more than half of the residents of Hanoi (HN). It also provides about one third of the total water demand for residents of Ho Chi Minh City (HCM). However, due to rapid urbanization and frequent discharges of untreated urban wastewater to surface water, freshwater is widely contaminated by man-made chemicals, which may result in groundwater pollution. As part of an ongoing campaign to collect baseline information on the occurrence of organic micro-pollutants (OMPs) in the aquatic environment in Vietnam, 43 water samples were collected from 26 groundwater wells in HN (22) and HCM (4) in September 2013 and August 2014. Samples were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and the resulting chromatograms were screened for 940 OMPs by an automated identification and quantification system (AIQS) within a GC-MS database. A total of 74 compounds were detected, with between 4 and 43 (median 18) compounds found at each site. Overall, contamination levels were low, with over 89 % of the detected concentrations that were less than 0.5 μg L-1. Results suggest that most of the sampled aquifers have been impacted by non-point source pollution. Most of the contaminants detected are either currently not regulated in drinking water or are present at low levels. A health risk assessment for detected contaminants implied that there were no risks to humans. Since this study was based on a limited number of samples, especially in HCM, further, more detailed studies on the occurrence of OMPs in groundwater in HCM and a full risk assessment of detected contaminants should be prioritized.

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