Acute water quality criteria for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, pesticides, plastic additives, and 4-Nonylphenol in seawater

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

The article

NORMAN interlaboratory study (ILS) on passive sampling of emerging pollutants

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; 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)

The report

Distribution, potential sources and ecological risks of two persistent organic pollutants in the intertidal sediment at the Shuangtaizi Estuary, Bohai Sea of China

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

The article

Proteomics analysis of zebrafish brain following chronically exposed to bisphenol A

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.

Xiangyang Wu, Chongwei Lu, Xing Dong, Zhen Zhang, Ming Yang & Hai Xu, Toxicological & Environmental Chemistry, Volume 99, Issue 3, Pages 469-481, 2017

Impact of bisphenol A (BPA) on early embryo development in the marine mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis: Effects on gene transcription

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

The article

Recent advances and progress in the detection of bisphenol A

Bisphenol A (BPA) is an important industrial chemical used as a plasticizer in polycarbonate and epoxy resins in the plastic and paper industries. Because of its estrogenic properties, BPA has attracted increasing attention from many researchers. This review focuses primarily on analytical methods for BPA detection that have emerged in recent years. We present and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of sample preparation techniques (e.g., solvent extraction, solid-phase extraction, molecularly imprinted polymer solid-phase extraction, and micro-extraction techniques) and analytical methods (e.g., liquid chromatography, liquid chromatography−mass spectrometry, gas chromatography−mass spectrometry, capillary electrophoresis, immunoassay, and several novel sensors). We also discuss expected future developments for the detection of BPA.

Fengxia Sun, Lichao Kang, Xiaoli Xiang, Hongmin Li, Xiaoling Luo, Ruifeng Luo, Chunxia Lu, Xiayu Peng, Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, October 2016, Volume 408, Issue 25, pp 6913–6927

The article

The plasticizer bisphenol A affects somatic and sexual development, but differently in pipid, hylid and bufonid anurans

Due to their terrestrial habitats and aquatic reproduction, many amphibians are both very vulnerable and highly suitable bioindicators. The plasticizer bisphenol A (BPA) is one of the most produced chemical substances worldwide, and knowledge on its impacts on humans and animals is mounting. BPA is used for the industrial production of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins and found in a multitude of consumer products. Studies on BPA have involved mammals, fish and the fully aquatic anuran model Xenopus laevis. However, our knowledge about the sexual development of non-model, often semi-terrestrial anuran amphibians remains poor. Using a recently developed experimental design, we simultaneously applied BPA to two non-model species (Hyla arborea, Hylidae; Bufo viridis, Bufonidae) and the model X. laevis (Pipidae), compared their genetic and phenotypic sex for detection of sex reversals, and studied sexual development, focusing on anatomical and histological features of gonads. We compared three concentrations of BPA (0.023, 2.28 and 228 μg/L) to control groups in a high-standard flow-through-system, and tested whether conclusions, drawn from the model species, can be extrapolated to non-model anurans. In contrast to previous studies on fish and Xenopus, often involving dosages much higher than most environmental pollution data, we show that BPA causes neither the development of mixed sex nor of sex-reversed individuals (few, seemingly BPA-independent sex reversals) in all focal species. However, environmentally relevant concentrations, as low as 0.023 μg/L, were sufficient to provoke species-specific anatomically and histologically detectable impairments of gonads, and affected morphological traits of metamorphs. As the intensity of these effects differed between the three species, our data imply that BPA diversely affects amphibians with different evolutionary history, sex determination systems and larval ecologies. These results highlight the role of amphibians as a sensitive group that is responsive to environmental pollution.

Stephanie Tamschick, Beata Rozenblut-Kościsty, Maria Ogielska and al., Environmental Pollution, Volume 216, September 2016, Pages 282–291

The article