Benzotriazole UV stabilizers (BUVSs) are widely applied in plastics to prevent discoloration and to enhance product stability. This study describes for the first time the occurrence of nine different lipophilic BUVSs (UV-326, UV-320, UV-329, UV-350, UV-328, UV-327, UV-928, UV-234 and UV-360) in sediment, suspended particulate matter (SPM) and bream liver samples of German rivers. All investigated BUVSs were detected in sediments and SPM at concentrations in the low ng/g dry weight (dw) range. The so far rarely analyzed compound UV-360 as well as UV-326 were the predominant BUVSs in sediments and SPM from the river Rhine reaching maximum concentrations of 62 and 44 ng/g dw, respectively. Five BUVSs were also confirmed to bioaccumulate in bream liver, but neither UV-360 nor UV-326 was detected above the limit of quantification (LOQ). In contrast, highest concentrations in bream liver were determined for UV-327 (65 ng/g dw) and UV-328 (40 ng/g dw).
A retrospective time trend analysis of BUVSs in SPM from two sites (river Rhine, 2005 to 2013; river Saar, 2006 to 2013) revealed increasing contamination levels of UV-329 and decreasing levels of UV-320 and UV-350. At one site (river Rhine) time trends of BUVS concentrations were also investigated in bream liver (1995–2013) and supported a considerably reduced exposure to UV-350.
A first assessment of the environmental fate of BUVSs by sediment-water batch systems revealed a rapid partitioning into the sediment and no considerable degradation within 100 d.
Arne Wick, Björn Jacobs, Uwe Kunkel, Peter Heininger, Thomas A. Ternes, Environmental Pollution, Volume 212, Pages 401–412, May 2016