Distribution of Phthalate Esters in a Marine Aquatic Food Web: Comparison to Polychlorinated Biphenyls

ArticleinEnvironmental Science and Technology 38(7):2011-20 · May 2004with40 Reads
DOI: 10.1021/es034745r · Source: PubMed
Dialkyl phthalate esters (DPEs) are widely used chemicals, with over 4 million tonnes being produced worldwide each year. On the basis of their octanol-water partition coefficients (Kow), which range from 10(1.61) for dimethyl phthalate to 10(9.46) for di-iso-decyl phthalate, certain phthalate esters have the potential to bioconcentrate and biomagnify in aquatic food webs. However, there are no reported field studies on the trophodynamics of phthalate ester in aquatic food webs. This study reports the distribution of 8 individual phthalate esters (i.e., dimethyl, diethyl, di-isobutyl, di-n-butyl, butylbenzyl, di(2-ethylhexyl), di-n-octyl, and di-n-nonyl) and 5 commercial isomeric mixtures (i.e., di-iso-hexyl (C6), di-iso-heptyl (C7), di-iso-octyl (C8), di-iso-nonyl (C9), and di-iso-decyl (C10)) in a marine aquatic food web. DPE concentrations were determined in 18 marine species, representing approximately 4 trophic levels. Co-analysis of DPEs and 6 PCB congeners (i.e., PCB-18, 99, 118, 180, 194, and 209) in all samples produced a direct comparison of the bioaccumulation behavior of PCBs and DPEs. Lipid equivalent concentrations of the PCBs increased with increasing trophic position and stable isotope ratios (delta15N). The Food-Web Magnification Factor (FWMF) of the PCB congeners ranged from 1.8 to 9.5. Lipid equivalent concentrations of low and intermediate molecular weight DPEs (i.e., C1-C7 DPEs: dimethyl, diethyl, di-iso-butyl, di-n-butyl, benzylbutyl, and C6 and C7 isomers) did not exhibit statistically significant trends with trophic position or stable nitrogen isotope ratios (delta15N) in the food web and FWMFs were not significantly different from 1. Lipid equivalent concentrations of the high-molecular-weight DPEs (i.e., C8-C10 DPEs: di(2-ethylhexyl), di-n-octyl, di-n-nonyl, C8, C9, and C10) declined significantly with increasing trophic position and stable isotope ratios (delta15N), producing FWMFs between 0.25 and 0.48. These results show that all DPEs tested did not biomagnify in the studied aquatic food web whereas PCBs did biomagnify.
    • "Some synthesized chemicals are rapidly transformed through photodegradation, bacterial degradation and metabolization, which may limit the bioaccumulation and biomagnification of the parent compound (Mackintosh et al., 2004 ). Because of the intensive and continuous release of these degradable pollutants into the environment, some of their products of transformation may pose a significant environmental concern. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The levels and fate of phthalate metabolites have been poorly evaluated in fish, despite their potential ecotoxicological impacts. The present study aims to characterize the levels of phthalate metabolites in muscle tissue of yellow eels (Anguilla anguilla) from two coastal Mediterranean lagoons, during three sampling periods. Nine phthalate metabolites were detected in >70% of the samples. Slightly higher levels of phthalate metabolites were detected in March and June compared to October, suggesting possible seasonal variations in environmental release and/or phthalate metabolization process by eels. The large sample size (N=117) made it possible to explore correlations between phthalate metabolites' levels and individual parameters, such as body length, age, body condition and hepatic histo-pathologies. Body length and estimated age poorly correlated with phthalate metabolites, suggesting that eels did not accumulate phthalates during growth, contrary to persistent compounds. Eels presented different grades of hepatic fibrosis and lipidosis. A negative correlation was found between the severity of these pathologies in the liver and the sum of phthalate metabolites levels, supporting the hypothesis that eels with damaged liver are less able to metabolize xenobiotics.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2016
    • "This difference could result from metabolic capacities. Generally, an organism with a higher trophic level has a greater metabolic capacity relative to an organism with a lower trophic level (Mackintosh et al., 2004; Wang et al., 2012). Hence, the shift of PAH distribution according to molecular weight between the species might be related to metabolic differences. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study is to measure PAHs concentrations in mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) and fish (Anguilla anguilla) from the Bizerte lagoon (north Tunisia), and evaluate their distribution and sources, in order to provide a baseline of the state of PAH contamination in this lagoon and assess their human health risk. For this purpose, several native mussel and fish specimens were collected and analyzed using a high-performance liquid chromatography method with fluorescence detection for 15 EPA priority PAHs. PAHs levels in mussels and fish ranged from 107.4 to 430.7 ng g−1 dw and 114.5 to 133.7 ng g−1 dw, respectively. Naphthalene was the major component measured in mussels (31.5–272.6 ng g−1 dw) and fish (57.9–68.6 ng g−1 dw) and all specimens were classified as moderately contaminated. The PAHs composition pattern was similar for both species and was dominated by the presence of PAHs with 2- to 3-rings. The study of PAH ratios indicated a mixed petrogenic/pyrolytic origin. The health risks by consumption of these species was assessed and showed to present no threat to public health concerning PAH intakes. The results of this study would provide a useful aid for sustainable marine management in the region.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2016
    • "Model calculated TMFs of the PE congeners ranged from 0.11 for DnOP and DEHP to 0.95 for DEP and showed a general decline in the TMF with increasing K OW (Fig. 2). Field TMFs, reported by Mackintosh et al. (2004), ranged from 0.28 for DNP to 1.0 for DEP and also showed a general decline in the TMF with increasing K OW (Fig. 2). Both the model calculations and the field observations indicated a lack of trophic magnification for all of the evaluated PEs. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Trophic magnification factors (TMFs) are field-based measurements of the bioaccumulation behavior of chemicals in food-webs. TMFs can provide valuable insights into the bioaccumulation behavior of chemicals. However, bioaccumulation metrics such as TMF may be subject to considerable uncertainty as a consequence of systematic bias and the influence of confounding variables. This study seeks to investigate the role of systematic bias resulting from spatially-variable concentrations in water and sediments and biotransformation rates on the determination of TMF. For this purpose, a multibox food-web bioaccumulation model was developed to account for spatial concentration differences and movement of organisms on chemical concentrations in aquatic biota and TMFs. Model calculated and reported field TMFs showed good agreement for persistent polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners and biotransformable phthalate esters (PEs) in a marine aquatic food-web. Model testing showed no systematic bias and good precision in the estimation of the TMF for PCB congeners but an apparent underestimation of model calculated TMFs, relative to reported field TMFs, for PEs. A model sensitivity analysis showed that sampling designs that ignore the presence of concentration gradients may cause systematically biased and misleading TMF values. The model demonstrates that field TMFs are most sensitive to concentration gradients and species migration patterns for substances that are subject to a low degree of biomagnification or trophic dilution. The model is useful in anticipating the effect of spatial concentration gradients on the determination of the TMF; guiding species collection strategies in TMF studies; and interpretation of the results of field bioaccumulation studies in study locations where spatial differences in chemical concentration exist.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2016
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