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Environmental Pollution in Pearl River Delta, China: Status and Potential Effects

F. Wang1*, and R. J. Hao1

  1. State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, 100875, China

*Corresponding author. Tel.: +(86) 1058800156; fax: + (86) 1058800156. E-mail address: (F. Wang).


Rapid economic growth in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region, south China, has resulted in severe pollution of the natural eco-environment since the reform and opening up. Of various sources for eco-environmental deterioration, the negative impact of environmental pollutants is a global concern. Large amounts of research on environmental pollution in the PRD have been accumulated, which allows us to conduct a fairly comprehensive assessment of the environment state of the PRD. This review examines environmental pollutions (e.g., heavy metals, organics) mainly in water, air, and soil. The general information of these pollutions on current levels, possible causes, and potential effects in PRD were reviewed. The study found that heavy metals had an increasing trend in PRD in recent decades, especially for Cr. The sediments in coastal wetlands were significantly contaminated by Cd, Zn, and Ni. The levels of DDTs in various environmental media are of great concern. The discharge of industrial effluents and domestic sewage seemed to cause nutrient and heavy metal pollution in environmental media. Atmospheric emissions of gaseous and particulate pollutants have caused profound environmental and health implications. Growing public concern over the potential accumulation of heavy metals in soils could be owing to rapid urban and industrial development.

Keywords: environmental pollutions, Pearl River Delta, potential effects

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