Effects of lead, cadmium, chromium, and arsenic on the sorption
of lindane and norfloxacin by river biofilms, particles, and sediments
Received: 27 August 2017 /Accepted: 23 November 2017 /Published online: 1 December 2017
Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017
The sorption of both classic and emerging organic contaminants onto aquatic solids is a critical process that controls their fate in
natural waters. Sorption is affected by numerous factors, including coexisting heavy metals. The mechanisms of the influence of
heavy metals, especially those occurring in acid radical anions, are still unclear. Here, the effects of Pb, Cd, Cr, and As on the
sorption of lindane and norfloxacin (NOR) onto natural biofilms, suspended particles, and sediments from one river were
investigated following batch equilibration methods. In addition, changes in representative components that have important roles
in sorption from these solids in the presence and absence of metals were characterized by spectrum analyses. The results indicated
that sorption of lindane and NOR on the three solids in the absence of heavy metals was highly linear and nonlinear, respectively.
Pb and Cd promoted and Cr and As suppressed hydrophobic lindane sorption on the three solids. This was because Pb and Cd
enhanced but Cr and As weakened the hydrophobicity of these solids. Pb, Cd, Cr, and As decreased NOR sorption on sediments
and suspended particles at pH 5.7~6.3. This was due to electrostatic competition between cationic Pb/Cd and NORH
, and the
combination of Cr/As acid radicals with NORH
, which suppressed its ion-exchange adsorption. Pb, Cd, Cr, and As generally
increased the sorption of NOR onto the biofilms at pH 5.7~6.3. Pb and Cd strengthened the flocculation of dissolved organic
matter combined with NORH
onto the biofilms. Cr and As enhanced the hydrophilicity of biofilms, and then increased their
sorption of NOR with active hydrophilic groups. The mechanisms of how different heavy metals affect NOR sorption by biofilms
were more complicated than the mechanisms affecting lindane sorption, as well as by sediments and particles.
Organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), a large group of persistent
organic pollutants (POPs), have received great concern as they
are produced and used in large quantities, they have deleteri-
ous effects on non-target organisms, they are ubiquitous, and
they bioaccumulate and persist in the environment (Ali et al.
2014). Gamma-hexachlorocyclohexane (γ-HCH) is a classic
OCP, also known as lindane. Most countries have prohibited
the use of the persistent compounds, but some still use lindane
for economic reasons. Historical use, coupled with its extreme
persistence, has caused a global legacy environmental issue
(Abhilash et al. 2008). Antibiotics, which are regarded as
emerging contaminants of concern, have been identified in
many natural environmental compartments, such as river wa-
ter, sediments, soils, and groundwater (Dong et al. 2016).
Residual antibiotics in the environment could have adverse
effects on nontarget organisms and cause increased bacterial
resistance (Zhang et al. 2015). Norfloxacin (NOR) with a
fluoroquinolone backbone is a common and useful antibiotic.
Similar to other antibiotics, the presence of NOR in effluent
and sludge from domestic wastewater treatment plants, hospi-
tals, and livestock farms results in their release to recipient
environments, such as surface waters (Pei et al. 2011).
The aquatic environment is a complex system in which
inorganic heavy metals and organic contaminants commonly
Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues
Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article
(https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-017-0840-2) contains supplementary
material, which is available to authorized users.
* Zhiyong Guo
Ministry of Education Key Lab of Groundwater Resources and
Environment, Jilin Province Key Lab of Water Resources and
Aquatic Environment, College of Environment and Resources, Jilin
University, Changchun 130012, China
Environmental Science and Pollution Research (2018) 25:4632–4642