Virtual Issue #2

Huan Zhong (a,b), Cheng Gu (a)*

(a) Nanjing University, School of Environment, State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, People’s Republic of China

(b) Environmental and Life Sciences Program (EnLS), Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada

*Corresponding authors. 

Cheng Gu: E-mail address:

About this Virtual Issue

China was recently recognized as one of the greatest contributors to science and engineering, as indicated by the numbers of published articles and other indices (Showstack, 2018). Over the last decade, China has provided increasing support for research on environmental issues. This has allowed Chinese scholars to contribute significantly to the fields of environmental science and engineering. For over 50 years, the Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology (BECT) has been the venue for the rapid publication of research covering air, soil, water, and food contamination. The journal is the preferred platform for Chinese researchers to report advances and discoveries in these and related fields. According to (2018), one of the most well-known academic online discussion forums in China, BECT is favored by Chinese students and scholars mainly because (1) it offers a relatively rapid process of peer-review and publication, and (2) it publishes papers in a concise format. According to the Web of Science, 24% of all papers published in the BECT from 2007 to 2017 were from Chinese scholars.A closer examination of these papers offers an insight into the recent research interests of the Chinese academic community. Among the most frequent topics were environmental contamination, toxicology, environmental processes, and method development. Specifically, 37% of the publications were related to ‘environmental contamination,’ including reports on levels of contaminants in different environmental media and an assessment of associated risks; 24% focused on ‘toxicology,’ 23% on ‘method development,’ and 16% on the ‘environmental processes of contaminants’ (e.g., the transfer, partitioning, degradation, and speciation of contaminants in the environment). A second group of topics comprised those examining specific contaminants, including organic contaminants (60% of the published papers in this group), heavy metals (28%), and others (13%, e.g., nutrient pollution). The focus on organic pollution reflects the concerns in China regarding these compounds. The focus of a third group was environmental media, i.e., water, soil/sediment, air, and food. Over half (51%) of the publications examined contamination in soils and sediments. This predominance is not surprising considering the increasing efforts by the Chinese government to remediate contaminated soils and sediments, especially after the recent national-scale survey by China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) and Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR) (MEP and MLR 2014). Within this third group, approximately 39% of papers investigated water pollution, which has been the focus of environmental protection measures in China in the last few decades. Unfortunately, despite the priorities of the Chinese government regarding air pollution, little attention has been paid to the topic (5%). More submissions and publications from Chinese scholars on air pollution are expected in the next 5 years.In this Virtual Issue of BECT, we have included 22 of the most frequently cited papers, selected from papers by Chinese scholars, that were published in the BECT during the period 2012–2017. These excellent papers, together with the statistical data presented above, exemplify the recent research pursuits of Chinese scholars. By presenting these papers in the 100th anniversary volume of the BECT, we highlight the contributions of Chinese researchers to the fields of environmental contamination and toxicology.


Showstack R (2018) China catching up to United States in research and development. Earth and Space Science News (Eos), 99, Published on 24 January 2018 (2018) Assessed February 1, 2018."&"jid=1408Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) and Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR), The People’s Republic of China (2014) Assessed February 1, 2018.


Investigation of Fluoroquinolones, Sulfonamides and Macrolides in Long-Term Wastewater Irrigation Soil in Tianjin, China

Determination of Six Neonicotinoid Insecticides Residues in Spinach, Cucumber, Apple and Pomelo by QuEChERS Method and LC–MS/MS

Distribution and Sources of Organochlorine Pesticides in Taihu Lake, China

Major Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) in Wastewater Treatment Plant and Receiving Water in Beijing, China, and Associated Ecological Risks

Quantitative Structure–Activity Relationship for Prediction of the Toxicity of Phenols on Photobacterium phosphoreum

Mercury and Cadmium Contamination in Traffic Soil of Beijing, China

Outline of Occupational Chromium Poisoning in China

Distribution and Risk Assessment of Metals in Sediments from Taihu Lake, China Using Multivariate Statistics and Multiple Tools

Phytoremediation of Cadmium-Contaminated Farmland Soil by the Hyperaccumulator Beta vulgaris L. var. cicla

Occurrence, Distribution, Environmental Risk Assessment and Source Apportionment of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Water and Sediments of the Liaohe River Basin, China

Characterization and Risk Assessment of Exposure to Volatile Organic Compounds in Apartment Buildings in Harbin, China

Health Risks of Metals in Contaminated Farmland Soils and Spring Wheat Irrigated with Yellow River Water in Baotou, China

Dissipation and Residues of Difenoconazole and Azoxystrobin in Bananas and Soil in Two Agro-Climatic Zones of China

Dissipation and Residue of Forchlorfenuron in Citrus Fruits

Assessment the Toxic Effects of Dimethoate to Rotifer Using Swimming Behavior

Effect of Chronic Sublethal Exposure of Major Heavy Metals on Filtration Rate, Sex Ratio, and Gonad Development of a Bivalve Species

Residues of Organochlorine Pesticides in Water and Suspended Particulate Matter from Xiangshan Bay, East China Sea

Development of a Method for the Analysis of Four Plant Growth Regulators (PGRs) Residues in Soybean Sprouts and Mung Bean Sprouts by Liquid Chromatography–Tandem Mass Spectrometry

Distribution of Heavy Metal Pollution in Surface Soil Samples in China: A Graphical Review

Effects of Metal-Soil Contact Time on the Extraction of Mercury from Soils

Levels and Seasonal Variations of Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers in the Urban Atmosphere of Beijing, China

Distribution and Bioavailability of Metals in Subsidence Land in a Coal Mine China