Occurrence of microplastics (MPs) in the environments have been frequently reported. However, studies on the quantification methods for MPs are still needed. Plastics are polymers of different degrees of polymerization. In this study, alkali assisted thermal hydrolysis was applied to depolymerize two plastics containing ester groups, polycarbonate (PC) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET), in pentanol or butanol system. By determining the concentrations of the depolymerized building block compounds, i.e. bisphenol A (BPA) and para-phthalic acid (PTA), the amounts of PC and PET MPs in the environmental samples were quantified. Recoveries of 87.2-97.1% were obtained for the PC and PET plastics particles spiked in the landfill sludge. The method was successfully applied to determine the occurrence of PC and PET MPs in the samples of sludge, marine sediments, indoor dust, digestive residues in mussel and clam, as well as in sea salt and rock salt. High concentrations of 246 and 430 mg/kg were determined for PC and PET type MP in an indoor dust, respectively. In addition, 63.7 mg/kg of PC and 127 mg/kg of PET were detected in the digestive residues of a clam.
Plastics debris, especially microplastics, have been found worldwide in all marine compartments. Much research has been carried out on adsorbed pollutants on plastic pieces and hydrophobic organic compounds (HOC) associated with microplastics. However, only a few studies have focused on plastic additives. These chemicals are incorporated into plastics from which they can leach out as most of them are not chemically bound. As a consequence of plastic accumulation and fragmentation in oceans, plastic additives could represent an increasing ecotoxicological risk for marine organisms. The present work reviewed the main class of plastic additives identified in the literature, their occurrence in the marine environment, as well as their effects on and transfers to marine organisms. This work identified polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE), phthalates, nonylphenols (NP), bisphenol A (BPA) and antioxidants as the most common plastic additives found in marine environments. Moreover, transfer of these plastic additives to marine organisms has been demonstrated both in laboratory and field studies. Upcoming research focusing on the toxicity of microplastics should include these plastic additives as potential hazards for marine organisms, and a greater focus on the transport and fate of plastic additives is now required considering that these chemicals may easily leach out from plastics.
Ludovic Hermabessiere, Alexandre Dehaut, Ika Paul-Pont, Camille Lacroix, Ronan Jezequel, Philippe Soudant, Guillaume Duflos, Chemosphere, Volume 182, September 2017, Pages 781–793
Probabilistic environmental quality criteria for Naphthalene (Nap), Phenanthrene (Phe), Fluoranthene (Flu), Pyrene (Pyr), Triclosan (TCS), Tributyltin (TBT), Chlorpyrifos (CPY), Diuron (DUR), γ-Hexaclorocyclohexane (γ-HCH), Bisphenol A (BPA) and 4-Nonylphenol (4-NP) were derived from acute toxicity data using saltwater species representative of marine ecosystems, including algae, mollusks, crustaceans, echinoderms and chordates. Preferably, data concerns sublethal endpoints and early life stages from bioassays conducted in our laboratory, but the data set was completed with a broad literature survey. The Water Quality Criteria (WQC) obtained for TBT (7.1·10−3 μg L−1) and CPY (6.6· 10−3 μg L−1) were orders of magnitude lower than those obtained for PAHs (ranging from 3.75 to 45.2 μg L−1), BPA (27.7 μg L−1), TCS (8.66 μg L−1) and 4-NP (1.52 μg L−1). Critical values for DUR and HCH were 0.1 and 0.057 μg L−1 respectively. Within this context, non-selective toxicants could be quantitatively defined as those showing a maximum variability in toxicity thresholds (TT) of 3 orders of magnitude across the whole range of marine diversity, and a cumulative distribution of the TT fitting to a single log-logistic curve, while for selective toxicants variability was consistently found to span 5 orders of magnitude and the TT distribution showed a bimodal pattern. For the latter, protective WQC must be derived taking into account the SSD of the sensitive taxa only.
I. Durán, R. Beiras, Environmental Pollution, Volume 224, May 2017, Pages 384–391
A chemical monitoring on site (CM Onsite) organised by NORMAN Association and JRC in support of the Water Framework Directive
Passive samplers can play a valuable role in monitoring water quality within a legislative framework such as the European Union’s Water Framework Directive (WFD). The time-integrated data from these devices can be used to complement chemical monitoring of priority and emerging contaminants which are difficult to analyse by spot or bottle sampling methods, and to improve risk assessment of chemical pollution. In order to increase the acceptance of passive sampling technology amongst end users and to gain further information about the robustness of the calibration and analytical steps, several inter-laboratory field studies have recently been performed in Europe. Such trials are essential to further validate this sampling method and to increase the confidence of the technological approach for end users. An inter-laboratory study on the use of passive samplers for the monitoring of emerging pollutants was organised in 2011 by the NORMAN association (Network of reference laboratories for monitoring emerging environmental pollutants; http://www.norman-network.net) together with the European DG Joint Research Centre to support the Common Implementation Strategy of the WFD. Thirty academic, commercial and regulatory laboratories participated in the passive sampler comparison exercise and each was allowed to select their own sampler design. All the different devices were exposed at a single sampling site to treated waste water from a large municipal treatment plant. In addition, the organisers deployed in parallel for each target analyte class multiple samplers of a single type which were subsequently distributed to the participants for analysis. This allowed an evaluation of the contribution of the different analytical laboratory procedures to the data variability. The results obtained allow an evaluation of the potential of different passive sampling methods for monitoring selected emerging organic contaminants (pharmaceuticals, polar pesticides, steroid hormones, fluorinated surfactants, triclosan, bisphenol A and brominated flame retardants). In most cases, between laboratory variation of results from passive samplers was roughly a factor 5 larger than within laboratory variability. Similar results obtained for different passive samplers analysed by individual laboratories and also low within laboratory variability of sampler analysis indicate that the passive sampling process is causing less variability than the analysis. This points at difficulties that laboratories experienced with analysis in complex environmental matrices. Where a direct comparison was possible (not in case of brominated flame retardants) analysis of composite water samples provided results that were within the concentration range obtained by passive samplers. However, in the future a significant improvement of the overall precision of passive sampling is needed. The results will be used to inform EU Member States about the potential application of passive sampling methods for monitoring organic chemicals within the framework of the WFD. (2016)
Spatial distribution, source apportionment, and potential ecological risks of sixteen polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and seven endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) in the intertidal sediment at the Shuangtaizi Estuary, Bohai Sea of China were analyzed. Results showed that the total PAH concentrations ranged from 28.79 ng g− 1 dw to 281.97 ng g− 1 dw (mean: 115.92 ng g− 1 dw) and the total EDC concentrations from 0.52 ng g− 1 dw to 126.73 ng g− 1 dw (mean: 37.49 ng g− 1 dw). The distribution pattern for the PAHs was generally different from that of the EDCs possibly due to their distinct sources and n-octanol-/water partition coefficients (KOW). Qualitative and quantitative analytical results showed that PAH sources were mainly from a mixture of pyrogenic and petrogenic contributions. The higher levels at the southeast of Geligang indicated that the EDC pollutants may have mainly originated from the plastic industry and other chemical plants located along the Liao River. Ecological risk assessment revealed that PAHs exhibited low ecotoxicological effects, whereas EDCs, especially 4-tert-octylphenol and bisphenol A, had high ecological hazard to the estuarine biota.
Xiutang Yuan, Xiaolong Yang, Anguo Zhang, Xindong Ma, Hui Gao, Guangshui Na, Humin Zong, Guize Liu, Yongguang Sun, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 114, Issue 1, 15 January 2017, Pages 419–427
Bisphenol A, a plastic monomer and plasticizer, is a well-known endocrine disrupter, widely present in the aquatic environment, but little is known regarding its neurotoxicity in fish. Herein, we investigated its effects on male zebrafish brain. Zebrafish were exposed to 10 µg/L BPA for 45 days. An isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation approach coupled with nano high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analysis was employed to detect and identify differentially expressed proteins. A total of 46 proteins was identified and categorized into functional classes that mostly included metabolism and transport, cytoplasm and organelle, ion and nucleotide binding, indicating that bisphenol A toxicity in fish brain is complex. The biological pathways of starch and sucrose metabolism, calcium signaling, and aminoacyl-tRNA biosynthesis were also induced. Proteomic analyses add new perspectives to bisphenol A neurotoxicity in aquatic organisms.
Bisphenol A (BPA), a monomer used in plastic manufacturing, is weakly estrogenic and a potential endocrine disruptor in mammals. Although it degrades quickly, it is pseudo-persistent in the environment because of continual inputs, with reported concentrations in aquatic environments between 0.0005 and 12 μg/L. BPA represents a potential concern for aquatic ecosystems, as shown by its reproductive and developmental effects in aquatic vertebrates.
In invertebrates, endocrine-related effects of BPA were observed in different species and experimental conditions, with often conflicting results, indicating that the sensitivity to this compound can vary considerably among related taxa. In the marine mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis BPA was recently shown to affect early development at environmental concentrations. In this work, the possible effects of BPA on mussel embryos were investigated at the molecular level by evaluating transcription of 13 genes, selected on the basis of their biological functions in adult mussels. Gene expression was first evaluated in trocophorae and D-veligers (24 and 48 h post fertilization) grown in physiological conditions, in comparison with unfertilized eggs. Basal expressions showed a general up-regulation during development, with distinct transcript levels in trocophorae and D-veligers. Exposure of fertilized eggs to BPA (10 μg/L) induced a general upregulation at 24 h pf, followed by down regulation at 48 h pf. Mytilus Estrogen Receptors, serotonin receptor and genes involved in biomineralization (Carbonic Anydrase and Extrapallial Protein) were the most affected by BPA exposure. At 48 h pf, changes in gene expression were associated with irregularities in shell formation, as shown by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), indicating that the formation of the first shelled embryo, a key step in mussel development, represents a sensitive target for BPA. Similar results were obtained with the natural estrogen 17β-estradiol. The results demonstrate that BPA and E2 can affect Mytilus early development through dysregulation of gene transcription.
Teresa Balbi, Silvia Franzellitti, Rita Fabbri, Michele Montagna, Elena Fabbri, Laura Canesi, Environmental Pollution, Volume 218, November 2016, Pages 996–1004