[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We analyzed 68 green and blue mussels collected from Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam and the USA during 2003 and 2007, to elucidate the occurrence and widespread distributions of emerging pollutants, synthetic musks and benzotriazole UV stabilizers (BUVSs) in Asia-Pacific coastal waters. Synthetic musks and BUVSs were detected in mussels from all countries, suggesting their ubiquitous contamination and widespread distribution. High concentrations of musks and BUVSs were detected in mussels from Japan and Korea, where the levels were comparable or greater than those of PCBs, DDTs and PBDEs. Significant correlations were found between the concentrations of HHCB and AHTN, and also between the concentrations of UV-327 and UV-328, which suggest similar sources and compositions of these compounds in commercial and industrial products. To our knowledge, this is the first study of large-scale monitoring of synthetic musks and BUVSs in Asia-Pacific coastal waters.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Surface and core sediments collected from six fish farms in Hong Kong and from reference sites were investigated for the enrichment and sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Moderately high SigmaPAH16 levels (123-947 ng g(-1), mean: 450 ng g(-1)) were found in the surface aquaculture sediments. In comparison with the sediments from the reference sites, the average enrichment percentage of total organic carbon (TOC) and PAHs in surface sediments were 21.4 and 43.8%, respectively, and in the core sediments, 24.6 and 73.7%, respectively. Mathematical source apportionment analyses (i.e. isomer ratios, hierarchical cluster analysis, principal components analysis with multiple linear regression analysis) suggested a higher percentage of petrogenic sources in aquaculture sediments. The fish feeds might be the main source of the enriched PAHs in the aquaculture sediments. To our knowledge, this is the first study showing that PAHs in aquaculture sediments could be attributed to human aquaculture activities.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To characterize the bioaccumulation and historical trends of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in Deep Bay, an important water body between Hong Kong and main land China with a Ramsar mangrove wetland (Maipo), marine organisms and core sediments were collected to determine their PBDEs concentrations. Sediment core dating was accomplished using the (210)Pb method. PBDEs concentrations in fish ranged from 0.17 to 4.16 ng g(-1) wet wt., with a mean value of 2.00 ng g(-1) wet wt. Temporal trends of the target PBDE congeners levels in core sediment generally increased from 1948 to 2003, with the highest levels in top sediment, suggesting an ongoing PBDEs input. The average sedimentation flux of PBDEs was 0.25 ng cm(-2) a(-1), and the double time of total PBDEs concentration was ca. 12.3 a. Correlations between the biota-sediment accumulation factors (BSAF) of PBDEs and their corresponding octanol-water partition coefficient (K(ow)) were discussed.
Marine environmental research 08/2010; 70(2):219-26. DOI:10.1016/j.marenvres.2010.05.004 · 2.33 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lysosomal integrity in mussels is widely used as a biomarker in coastal environments to demonstrate exposure to trace organic pollutants. However, few studies have determined the long-term influences of seasonal variations on the bioaccumulation of trace organics and subsequently altered response of lysosomal integrity in mussels. This study aimed to test three null hypotheses that (1) bioaccumulations of total polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (SigmaPAH) and (2) total polychlorinated biphenyl (SigmaPCB), and (3) lysosomal integrity as indicated by Neutral Red retention time (NRRT) in haemocytes, in the green-lipped mussel Perna viridis were not seasonally dependent. The tissue concentrations of SigmaPAH and SigmaPCB and haemocytic NRRT were determined in P. viridis in a metropolitan harbour, subtropical Hong Kong during the wet and dry seasons from 2004 to 2007. Additional information on temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen and total ammonia nitrogen in seawater, and sediment levels of SigmaPAH and SigmaPCB, were extracted from published data and re-analyzed. Our results accepted all null hypotheses, based on the minimal seasonal influences of seawater temperature and salinity on all studied parameters, in which no significant differences between the wet and dry seasons were detected. The seasonal effect was likely outweighed by the greatly improved water quality and pollution abatement noted inside the harbour, with a gradual shift in mussel PAHs from a pyrolytic origin to a petrogenic origin. Spatially, the site east of the harbour was relatively unpolluted. The single use of NRRT in P. viridis explained 25% of the total variation of the integrated pollution patterns in seawater, sediments and mussels. The present study suggested that the dynamic change of trace organics could be reflected by the response on lysosomal integrity in P. viridis, which was recommended as a routine screening biomarker in monitoring of harbour water quality across seasons.
Science of The Total Environment 02/2010; 408(6):1458-65. DOI:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2009.12.044 · 4.10 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Muscle concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were determined in rabbitfish Siganus oramin collected from Victoria Harbour and its vicinity, Hong Kong from 2004 to 2007. Spatially, relatively higher levels of [summation operator]PAH (1.05-4.26 microg g(-1)) and [summation operator]PCB (45.1-76.9 ng g(-1)) were determined in the central and western sites inside the harbour. Temporally, upward trend of [summation operator]PAH, accompanied with a proportion shift from high molecular weight to low molecular weight PAHs, was detected during the three-year study period, suggesting a heavier marine traffic in Victoria Harbour and its western region. However, human health risk assessment based on five individual PAHs indicated that PAHs in fish muscles posed minimal health risk through consumption. In contrast, a downward trend of [summation operator]PCB was registered as the open use of PCBs has been banned. Despite this, the level of [summation operator]PCB in fish muscles still posed a health risk on the local people who have a high fish consumption rate. While seasonal influences on [summation operator]PAH/[summation operator]PCB accumulation in S. oramin seemed to be negligible, our findings in S. oramin were in line with the established PAH and PCB levels in sediments and/or mussels from the harbour, suggesting S. oramin can be used as a model fish species for monitoring PAHs and PCBs in the region.
Science of The Total Environment 05/2009; 407(14):4327-32. DOI:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2009.03.033 · 4.10 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Surface sediments from remote lakes and coastal areas from Ny-Alesund, Svalbard, Norwegian Arctic were analyzed for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs). Relatively high levels of PAHs were encountered from several lakes from Ny-Alesund, which were within the range of levels reported for European high mountain lakes and some urban/industrialized areas in the world, pointing to the role of remote Arctic lakes as potential reservoir of semi-volatile organic compounds. Specific patterns of PBDEs were observed, showing higher concentrations of lower brominated compounds such as BDE-7, 17 and 28. Estimated surface sediment fluxes of PAHs in Ny-Alesund remote lakes were similar to those observed for some European high mountain lakes. The current PAH levels in sediments from three lakes exceeded Canadian sediment quality guidelines, suggesting the presence of possible risks for aquatic organisms and the need for further studies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This review represents an assessment of the pollution status of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) in China (the mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan). During the past decades, seven PCDD/Fs pollution hotspots have been found: (a). Ya-er Lake, Hubei Province, with 'total PCDD/Fs' level reaching 177,427 pg g(-1) (dry weight) in lake sediments; (b). Chinese Schistosomiasis affected areas of Jiangxi Province with 33,660 pg g(-1) in soil; (c). e-waste recycling area of Yangtze River Delta, with 2726 pg g(-1) in paddy soil; (d). e-waste recycling area of Guiyu (eastern part of Guangdong Province), with 967,500 pg g(-1) in mixture of burnt residue and soil (the highest level among all hotspots); (e). Pearl River Delta with 2630 pg g(-1) in coastal sediment. (f). Kwun Tong, Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong with 10,999 pg g(-1) in coastal sediment; and (g). southern Taiwan with 606,000 pg g(-1) in soil near the vicinity of a pentachlorophenol manufacturing factory. The main sources of PCDD/Fs in China were formed from impurities during the production of polychlorophenol, hexachlorobenzene, polychlorinated biphenyls, organic chlorinated pesticide and triclosan. In addition, sources of PCDD/Fs included municipal waste incineration, mineral fuel usage, open burning of electronic waste and crop residues, industrial waste discharge and vehicle exhaust emission. Due to potential human health risks from long-term exposure to PCDD/Fs at these hotspots, body loadings of these contaminants should be monitored.
Environment International 05/2008; 34(7):1050-61. DOI:10.1016/j.envint.2008.02.011 · 5.66 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fifty fish samples were collected from the Pearl River estuary (PRE) and Daya Bay, South China and were analyzed for DDTs, HCHs, chlordanes and polybrominated biphenyl ethers (PBDEs). Except the high concentrations of DDT observed in fishes, the concentrations of HCHs, chlordanes and PBDEs were low when compared to other regions. BDE-47 was the predominant PBDE congener and the BDE-209 concentrations were relatively low, despite its high concentration in surface sediments. The absence of significant increase of DDT, HCH, chlordane and PBDE concentrations towards higher delta15N values, as well as the lack of a significant correlation (p<0.1) between log concentrations (lipid normalized) and delta15N, may indicate a weak biomagnification of these chemicals in the food webs. Good agreement was observed between their concentrations and lipid contents of the organisms. Bioconcentration was suggested to be responsible for the accumulation of OCPs and PBDEs in the lower trophic organisms in the studied subtropical waters.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In order to test its ability as a bioaccumulator, the deposit feeding clam Asaphis deflorata, collected from a clean coastal area in Hong Kong (Ding Chau, Ma On Shan), was exposed to field-collected sediments representing a gradient of contamination. Sediments were collected from four sites, namely Shek O in the southeast of Hong Kong Island, Ap Lei Chau in Aberdeen district, Tai Kok Tsui in the Mong Kok waterfront, and To Kwa Wan near Kowloon City pier. Shek O was the cleanest and To Kwa Wan was the most polluted site. Replicate 30L fiberglass tanks containing equal numbers of organisms were maintained for 28 days, with equal quantities of sediment and filtered seawater. Prior to this the animals were depurated for 10 days in clean sediment. During the 28-day holding period, sampling of both sediment and clams was performed on days 0, 10 and 28, along with condition index measurements. Concentrations of organochlorine pesticides and PCBs in sediments showed that Shek O was the cleanest of the sites, followed by Ap Lei Chau, Tai Kok Tsui and To Kwa Wan. There were marked differences among the sites, especially in PAH concentrations, with To Kwa Wan showing extremely high sediment concentrations. Following exposure, the biota concentrations of various organochlorine pesticides and PCBs suggested that there was sediment concentration-dependent accumulation by A. deflorata on day 10 of the experiment. However, there was no significant increase on day 28 for any of the compounds tested. Contaminant concentrations in clams feeding on Shek O sediments were minimal and almost the same on all sampling days, indicating the presence of only baseline contaminant concentrations. The condition indices (CI) of the clams on various sampling days showed that the animals were relatively more stable in sediment from Shek O. There were some deaths in all the test tanks (including those containing Shek O sediments). In addition, clams appeared to bury faster in the cleaner Shek O sediment and remained buried, unlike those in the sediment from the other locations, where some remained predominantly on the surface. Nevertheless, despite not completely burying, the clams in other test sediments still exhibited sediment concentration-dependent tissue accumulation. The results of the investigation indicate the possibility of developing a standard test protocol for bioaccumulation by sediment dwelling invertebrates, for practical use in Hong Kong, using A. deflorata.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent studies have indicated the occurrence of a wide range of trace organic contaminants, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in the Hong Kong environment. These contaminants are potentially harmful to ecological systems, particularly in coastal areas. In this study, two sediment cores (4m) were collected from southern waters of Hong Kong in 2004 to study the historical trends, distribution patterns, and potential sources of trace organic contaminants. DDTs (p,p'-DDT, o,p'-DDT, p,p'-DDD, o,p'-DDD and p,p'-DDE), hexachlorohexanes (HCHs) (alpha and gamma), hexachlorobenzene (HCB), and PCBs were detected in the samples, whereas other target compounds were all below detection limits. Many OCPs have not been produced or used for many years due to toxicological or environmental concerns and PCB use is prohibited in Hong Kong. However, some compounds were still detectable in recent years, and were found to be widely distributed in the environment, likely because of pollutant inputs from the highly industrialized Pearl River Delta region. These results provide important information on current and historical contamination in Hong Kong, and help to reconstruct the pollution history of these trace organic pollutants in Hong Kong coastal waters.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mussel samples were used in this study to measure the levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and organochlorines (OCs) in the coastal waters of Asian countries like Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. PBDEs were detected in all the samples analyzed, and the concentrations ranged from 0.66 to 440 ng/g lipid wt. Apparently higher concentrations of PBDEs were found in mussels from the coastal waters of Korea, Hong Kong, China, and the Philippines, which suggests that significant sources of these chemicals exist in and around this region. With regard to the composition of PBDE congeners, BDE-47, BDE-99, and BDE-100 were the dominant congeners in most of the samples. Among the OCs analyzed, concentrations of DDTs were the highest followed by PCBs > CHLs > HCHs > HCB. Total concentrations of DDTs, PCBs, CHLs, and HCHs in mussel samples ranged from 21 to 58 000, 3.8 to 2000, 0.93 to 900, and 0.90 to 230 ng/g lipid wt., respectively. High levels of DDTs were found in mussels from Hong Kong, Vietnam, and China; PCBs were found in Japan, Hong Kong, and industrialized/urbanized locations in Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines, and India; CHLs were found in Japan and Hong Kong; HCHs were found in India and China. These countries seem to play a role as probable emission sources of corresponding contaminants in Asia and, in turn, may influence their global distribution.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The geographical distribution of hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) was investigated through analysis of muscle tissue of skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis) collected from offshore waters of Asia-Pacific region (Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, Indonesia, Seychelles, Brazil, Japan Sea, East China Sea, South China Sea, Indian Ocean and North Pacific Ocean). HBCD was detected in almost all samples analyzed (<0.1 to 45 ng/g lipid weight basis), indicating widespread presence of this compound in the marine environment. Elevated concentrations of HBCD were found in skipjack tuna from areas around Japan, which have the larger modern industrial/urban societies, and implicated these areas as primary regional sources. All three individual HBCD isomers (alpha-, gamma- and beta-HBCD) were detected in almost all samples; the percentage contribution of the alpha-isomer to total HBCD increased with increasing latitude. The estimated empirical 1/2 distance for alpha-HBCD was 8500 km, which is one of the highest atmospheric transportability among various halogenated persistent organic pollutants (POPs).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: As active ingredients of anti-fouling paints that are widely used on ship hulls, organotin compounds, in particular tributyltin (TBT), are well-known endocrine disruptors causing sex changes in marine organisms and widespread in coastal waters and sediments worldwide. In this study, a comprehensive ecological risk assessment (ERA) of organotins was conducted in Hong Kong waters through determining the imposex status, sex ratio and tissue burdens of these compounds in the neogastropods, Thais clavigera and Thais luteostoma collected from 29 coastal sites. We also investigated the historical trend of organotin effects on these gastropods, and performed a probabilistic ERA based on tissue burden of TBT in the animals. Our results demonstrated that imposex indices were positively correlated with the body burden of organotins in the gastropods. Across all sites, the sex ratio (female:male) decreased significantly with increasing imposex levels or tissue burden of organotins, implying that such pollutants can result in a male-biased population, potentially leading to local extinction in extreme cases. Based on the ERA, 5.4% of all populations of T. clavigera are at risk due to exposure to TBT; the risks include growth inhibition, impairment of immune functions and reduced fitness. Seriously impacted areas included Aberdeen, Repulse Bay, Butterfly Beach, Mui Wo and Ha Mei Wan. A comparison with historical data revealed that there had been some improvement in the areas with low marine traffic, and distant from the major harbour/port. This could partly be due to the restriction on the use of TBT on small vessels (<25m in length) since 1992. Nevertheless, the organotin contamination still remains severe in areas with high marine traffic or adjacent to large harbours/ports. In particular, the situation in the northeastern waters of Hong Kong has been getting worst since 1996 that is probably associated with the rapid development of the cargo container port at Yantian in China.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sediments and green-lipped mussels, Perna viridis, were used to investigate concentrations of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in Hong Kong's marine environment. PBDEs have been used extensively over the past two decades as flame retardants in polymer additives for a variety of plastics, computers, furniture, building materials, and fabrics. Many measurements of PBDEs in various environmental matrices have been reported from Belgium, Holland, Japan, Europe and North America, but few measurements are available for the southeast Asian region and Hong Kong. PBDE congeners (n=15) were measured in 13 sediments and nine mussel samples, taken from Hong Kong marine waters. The Sigma15PBDEs in sediments ranged between 1.7 and 53.6 ng g(-1) dry wt, with the highest concentrations located around the most heavily populated areas of Victoria Harbour and Sai Kung, while the lowest concentrations of Sigma15PBDEs were found at more remote locations of Sha Tau Kok, Wong Chuk Bay, Castle Peak Bay, and Gold Coast. Sigma15PBDEs ranged from 27.0 to 83.7 ng g(-1) dry wt of mussel tissues. Although not identical, most of the congeners in sediments were found in mussel tissues, with BDE-47, BDE-99, BDE-153 and BDE-183 being the most prominent in both matrices. On the basis of a literature survey, the concentrations of PBDEs reported in Hong Kong sediments and mussel tissues are amongst the highest in the world.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In order to elucidate the global distribution of dioxins and related compounds, such as PCDDs, PCDFs and coplanar PCBs, levels of these compounds were determined in the muscle of skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis) collected from the offshore waters and open seas near Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, Indonesia, Seychelles and Brazil, and the Japan Sea, the East China Sea, the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean and the North Pacific Ocean. PCDDs, PCDFs and coplanar PCBs were detected in almost all the specimens collected from all the locations surveyed, indicating widespread contamination by these compounds in the marine environment. Higher concentrations of dioxins and coplanar PCBs were detected in the samples from temperate Asian regions, plausibly due to larger usage and anthropogenic generation in highly industrialized countries around the East China Sea and the South China Sea, such as Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and coastal China.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Green-lipped mussels, Perna viridis, and Manila clams, Ruditapes philippinarum were sourced from "clean" sites in the Hong Kong region, depurated in a laboratory using uncontaminated filtered seawater for 8 days, and transplanted to a suspected gradient of chemically polluted sites in Hong Kong. After 14- and 28-days of field exposure, several antioxidant parameters including glutathione S transferase (GST), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and glutathione (GSH) were quantified in gill and hepatopancreas tissues. Whole body tissue concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCs) were determined in pooled site samples. Chemical analyses indicated that: (a) clams had higher levels of PAHs, PHCs, DDTs and PCBs, whereas mussels had higher hexachlorocyclohexane (HCHs) and there was no difference between species for dieldrin and remaining OCs; (b) Kat O should not be continued as a "clean" reference site for Hong Kong, because of the levels of contaminants measured and (c) PAH concentrations in the current survey were similar to those previously measured. Toxicological conclusions were: (a) antioxidant responses were different between species; (b) CAT and GST have highest utility in clams for field use in Hong Kong, whereas CAT in both gill and hepatopancreas tissue showed most potential in mussels; (c) significant induction of antioxidant responses over day 0 (excluding GPx in both tissues, and GST in mussel hepatic tissue); (d) groups of contaminants do not consistently induce antioxidant responses and (e) organochlorines and PCBs correlated significantly with CAT and GST in clam hepatopancreas and with CAT in mussel gill and hepatic tissue. Multivariate statistical techniques indicated little relationship between the site patterns for antioxidant responses and the contaminant gradients identified in body burden analysis.