Detection of phthalate esters in seawater by stir bar sorptive extraction and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry

We developed the stir bar sorptive extraction (SBSE)–gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) method to detect 15 kinds of PAEs in seawater. The stir bars (20 mm in length and 1 mm in film thickness) coated with 150 μL of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) were found to demonstrate the optimal extraction of PAEs. The optimal conditions were as follows: extraction time of 2 h, extraction temperature of 25 °C, sodium chloride of 5%, methanol of 10%, analytical time of 50 min, and methanol–acetonitrile (4:1) as the solvent. SBSE–GC–MS revealed that under the set temperature, the chromatographic peaks of all 15 PAEs can appear with complete separation. The detection limit ranged from 0.07 μg/L to 5.71 μg/L, whereas the limit of quantification ranged from 0.023 μg/L to 193 μg/L, and the correlation coefficients between the chromatographic peak area and concentration of the PAEs were greater than 0.92.

Qingqing Si, Fengmin Li, Chenchen Gao, Cong Wang, Zhenyu Wang, Jian Zhao, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 108, Issues 1–2, 15 July 2016, Pages 163–170

The article

The occurrence and ecological risk assessment of phthalate esters (PAEs) in urban aquatic environments of China

Phthalate esters (PAEs) are widely used in the manufacturing of plastics, and the demand for PAEs has grown rapidly, especially in China. This trend will lead to much more environmental PAE contamination. PAEs are listed as priority substances in the European Union and are therefore subject to ecological risk assessments. This paper reviews the literature concerning the pollution status of PAEs and their ecological risk to aquatic environments. Risk quotients (RQs) based on the predicted no effect concentration and PAE concentrations in aquatic environments demonstrated significant (10 a parts per thousand currency sign RQ < 100) or expected (RQ a parts per thousand yen 100) potential adverse effects for algae, Daphnia, and fish in aquatic environments near PAE-based industrial and urban areas. Thus, the ecological risk of PAEs in Chinese aquatic environments should be considered, especially in areas where commercial plastics are produced.

Lulu Zhang, Jingling Liu, Huayong Liu, Guisheng Wan, Shaowei Zhang, Ecotoxicology, Volume 24, Issue 5, pp 967-984, July 2015

The article


Occurrence, Fate, Behavior and Ecotoxicological State of Phthalates in Different Environmental Matrices

Because of their large and widespread application, phthalates or phthalic acid esters (PAEs) are ubiquitous in all the environmental compartements. They have been widely detected throughout the worldwide environment. Indoor air where people spend 65–90% of their time is also highly contaminated by various PAEs released from plastics, consumer products as well as ambient suspended particulate matter. Because of their widespread application, PAEs are the most common chemicals that humans are in contact with daily. Based on various exposure mechanisms, including the ingestion of food, drinking water, dust/soil, air inhalation and dermal exposure the daily intake of PAEs may reach values as high as 70 μg/kg/day. PAEs are involved in endocrine disrupting effects, namely, upon reproductive physiology in different species of fish and mammals. They also present a variety of additional toxic effects for many other species including terrestrial and aquatic fauna and flora. Therefore, their presence in the environment has attracted considerable attention due to their potential impacts on ecosystem functioning and on public health. This paper is a synthesis of the extensive literature data on behavior, transport, fate and ecotoxicological state of PAEs in environmental matrices: air, water, sediment, sludge, wastewater, soil, and biota. First, the origins and physicochemical properties of PAEs that control the behavior, transport and fate in the environment are reviewed. Second, the compilation of data on transport and fate, adverse environmental and human health effects, legislation, restrictions, and ecotoxicological state of the environment based on PAEs is presented.

Sopheak Net, Richard Sempéré, Anne Delmont and al., Environ. Sci. Technol.49 (7), pp 4019–4035, March 2015

The article