Article

Are There Other Persistent Organic Pollutants? A Challenge for Environmental Chemists †

Environment Canada, Montréal, Quebec, Canada
Environmental Science and Technology (Impact Factor: 5.48). 04/2007; 40(23):7157-66. DOI: 10.1021/es078000n
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The past 5 years have seen some major successes in terms of global measurement and regulation of persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PB&T) chemicals and persistent organic pollutants (POPs). The Stockholm Convention, a global agreement on POPs, came into force in 2004. There has been a major expansion of measurements and risk assessments of new chemical contaminants in the global environment, particularly brominated diphenyl ethers and perfluorinated alkyl acids. However, the list of chemicals measured represents only a small fraction of the approximately 30,000 chemicals widely used in commerce (>1 t/y). The vast majority of existing and new chemical substances in commerce are not monitored in environmental media. Assessment and screening of thousands of existing chemicals in commerce in the United States, Europe, and Canada have yielded lists of potentially persistent and bioaccumulative chemicals. Here we review recent screening and categorization studies of chemicals in commerce and address the question of whether there is now sufficient information to permit a broader array of chemicals to be determined in environmental matrices. For example, Environment Canada's recent categorization of the Domestic (existing) Substances list, using a wide array of quantitative structure activity relationships for PB&T characteristics, has identified about 5.5% of 11,317 substances as meeting P & B criteria. Using data from the Environment Canada categorization, we have listed, for discussion purposes, 30 chemicals with high predicted bioconcentration and low rate of biodegradation and 28 with long range atmospheric transport potential based on predicted atmospheric oxidation half-lives >2 days and log air-water partition coefficients > or =5 and < or =1. These chemicals are a diverse group including halogenated organics, cyclic siloxanes, and substituted aromatics. Some of these chemicals and their transformation products may be candidates for future environmental monitoring. However, to improve these predictions data on emissions from end use are needed to refine environmental fate predictions, and analytical methods may need to be developed.

4 Followers
 · 
228 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Starting from measured river concentrations, emission factors of 158 organic compounds out of 199 analyzed belonging to different groups of priority and emerging contaminants [pesticides (25), pharmaceuticals and hormones (81), perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) (18), industrial compounds (12), drugs of abuse (8) and personal care products (14)] have been estimated by inverse modeling. The Llobregat river was taken as case study representative of Mediterranean rivers. Industrial compounds and pharmaceuticals are the dominant groups (range of 10(4)mg·1000inhab(-1)·d(-1)). Personal care products, pesticides, PFASs and illegal drugs showed a load approximately one order of magnitude smaller. Considered on a single compound basis industrial compounds still dominate (range of ca. 10(3)mg·1000inhab(-1)·d(-1)) over other classes. Generally, the results are within the range when compared to previously published estimations for other river basins. River attenuation expressed as the percentage fraction of microcontaminants eliminated was quantified. On average they were around 60-70% of the amount discharged for all classes, except for PFASs, that are poorly eliminated (ca. 20% on average). Uncertainties associated with the calculated emissions have been estimated by Monte-Carlo methods (15,000 runs) and typically show coefficients of variation of ca. 120%. Sensitivities associated with the various variables involved in the calculations (river discharge, river length, concentration, elimination constant, hydraulic travel time and river velocity) have been assessed as well. For the intervals chosen for the different variables, all show sensitivities exceeding unity (1.14 to 3.43), tending to amplify the variation of the emission. River velocity and basin length showed the highest sensitivity value. Even considering the limitations of the approach used, inverse modeling can provide a useful tool for management purposes facilitating the quantification of release rates of chemicals into the aquatic environment. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Science of The Total Environment 07/2015; 520. DOI:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.03.055 · 4.10 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to evaluate the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) damage (as a biomarker of biological effects) in children living in areas at high risk of contamination in Mexico using the comet assay. The alkaline comet assay was performed in order to assess DNA damage levels in blood cells of 276 children living in eleven communities in four states of Mexico. Moreover, levels of arsenic and 1-hydroxypyrene (1-OHP) in urine and lead and total DDT [sum of 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl) ethylene (DDE) and 1,1-bis(p-chlorophenyl)-2,2,2-trichloroethane (DDT)] in blood were quantified. We found urinary 1-OHP levels between <LOD and 14.5μmol/mol creatinine; for arsenic, the urinary levels were 3.5-180μg/g creatinine (range). Lead levels in blood ranged from 0.5 to 24μg/dL and finally, the levels of total DDT (DDE and DDT) ranged from <LOD to 32,000ng/g lipid. Regarding DNA damage (comet assay), the most important finding in our study was that children exposed to a chemical mixture [high levels of exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and DDT were found] had the significant highest DNA damage level (p<0.05) in their blood cells (olive tail moment=7.5±3.5), when compared with DNA damage levels in children living in the other scenarios assessed in this work. Finally, significant correlations were observed between urinary arsenic levels (r=0.32, p<0.05); urinary 1-OHP levels (r=0.65, p<0.01); total DDT in blood levels (r=0.59, p<0.01) and DNA damage. In conclusion, the data indicates that children living in areas which are at high risk of contamination showed high levels of biomarkers of exposure in urine or blood. Moreover, the exposure levels contribute to DNA damage and suggest an increased health risk in studied sites at risk of great pollution. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Science of The Total Environment 03/2015; 518-519C:38-48. DOI:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.02.073 · 4.10 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In the aquatic environments, the predicted changes in water temperature, pO2 and pCO2 could result in hypercapnic and hypoxic conditions for aquatic animals. These conditions are thought to affect several basic cellular and physiological mechanisms. Yet, possible adverse effects of elevated CO2 (hypercapnia) on teleost fish, as well as combined effects with emerging and legacy environmental contaminants are poorly investigated. In this study, juvenile Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) were divided into groups and exposed to three different water bath PFOS exposure regimes (0 (control), 100 and 200 μg L−1) for 5 days at 1 h/day, followed by three different CO2-levels (normocapnia, moderate (0.3%) and high (0.9%)). The moderate CO2 level is the predicted near future (within year 2300) level, while 0.9% represent severe hypercapnia. Tissue samples were collected at 3, 6 and 9 days after initiated CO2 exposure. Effects on the endocrine and biotransformation systems were examined by analyzing levels of sex steroid hormones (E2, T, 11-KT) and transcript expression of estrogen responsive genes (ERα, Vtg-α, Vtg-β, ZP2 and ZP3). In addition, transcripts for genes encoding xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes (cyp1a and cyp3a) and hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF-1α) were analyzed. Hypercapnia alone produced increased levels of sex steroid hormones (E2, T, 11-KT) with concomitant mRNA level increase of estrogen responsive genes, while PFOS produced weak and time-dependent effects on E2-inducible gene transcription. Combined PFOS and hypercapnia exposure produced increased effects on sex steroid levels as compared to hypercapnia alone, with transcript expression patterns that are indicative of time-dependent interactive effects. Exposure to hypercapnia singly or in combination with PFOS produced modulations of the biotransformation and hypoxic responses that were apparently concentration- and time-dependent. Loading plots of principal component analysis (PCA) produced a significant grouping of individual scores according to the exposure scenarios at day 6 and 9. Overall, the PCA analysis produced a unique clustering of variables that signifies a positive correlation between exposure to high PFOS concentration and mRNA expression of E2 responsive genes. Notably, this pattern was not evident for individuals exposed to PFOS concentrations in combination with elevated CO2 scenarios. To our knowledge, the present study is the first of its kind, to evaluate such effects using combined exposure to a perfluoroalkyl sulfonate and elevated levels of CO2 saturation, representative of future oceanic climate change, in any fish species or lower vertebrate.
    Aquatic Toxicology 10/2014; 155:222–235. DOI:10.1016/j.aquatox.2014.06.017 · 3.51 Impact Factor