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

Fugacity analysis of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons between microplastics and seawater

Recently, the accumulation of plastic debris in the marine environment has become a great concern worldwide. Although plastics are biologically and chemically inert, plastic debris has been suspected of causing adverse effects on ecosystems due to the increase in reactivity by size reduction and/or micropollutants associated with plastics. Because of the high sorption capacity of microplastics toward organic micropollutants, it is suspected that microplastics may play roles in the distribution and fate of micropollutants. In order to quantitatively evaluate the “net flow” of environmental contaminants in water-plastic-organism systems, a fugacity analysis was conducted using concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in open oceans and in polyethylene as a representative material of plastic debris. Ratio of fugacity in polyethylene to that in seawater showed a decreasing trend with increasing partition coefficient between polyethylene and seawater (KPE/sw). This indicates that phase equilibrium between polyethylene and seawater is not attained for higher molecular weight PAHs. Disequilibrium of high molecular weight PAHs suggests that transfer from seawater to plastic debris is thermodynamically driven and the role of plastic debris as a vector to transfer them to living organisms would be minimal. However, additives may slowly migrate from plastics into the environment causing potentially serious effects on ecosystems.

Hwang Lee, Sein Chang, Seung-Kyu Kim, Jung-Hwan Kwon, Ocean Science Journal, March 2017, Volume 52, Issue 1, pp 43–55

The article

Pollutant content in marine debris and characterization by thermal decomposition

Marine debris (MDs) produces a wide variety of negative environmental, economic, safety, health and cultural impacts. Most marine litter has a very low decomposition rate (plastics), leading to a gradual accumulation in the coastal and marine environment. Characterization of the MDs has been done in terms of their pollutant content: PAHs, ClBzs, ClPhs, BrPhs, PCDD/Fs and PCBs. The results show that MDs is not a very contaminated waste. Also, thermal decomposition of MDs materials has been studied in a thermobalance at different atmospheres and heating rates. Below 400–500 K, the atmosphere does not affect the thermal degradation of the mentioned waste. However, at temperatures between 500 and 800 K the presence of oxygen accelerates the decomposition. Also, a kinetic model is proposed for the combustion of the MDs, and the decomposition is compared with that of their main constituents, i.e., polyethylene (PE), polystyrene (PS), polypropylene (PP), nylon and polyethylene-terephthalate (PET).

M.E. Iñiguez, J.A. Conesa, A. Fullana, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 117, Issues 1–2, 15 April 2017, Pages 359–365

The article

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

Contaminated Aquatic Sediments

A review of the literature published in 2015 relating to the assessment, evaluation and remediation of contaminated aquatic sediments is presented. The review is divided into the following main sections: policy and guidance, methodology, distribution, fate and transport, risk, toxicity and remediation.

Jaglal, Kendrick, Water Environment Research, 2016 Literature Review, pp. 1564-1594 (31)

The article

Effects of nanoplastics and microplastics on toxicity, bioaccumulation, and environmental fate of phenanthrene in fresh water

Contamination of fine plastic particles (FPs), including micrometer to millimeter plastics (MPs) and nanometer plastics (NPs), in the environment has caught great concerns. FPs are strong adsorbents for hydrophobic toxic pollutants and may affect their fate and toxicity in the environment; however, such information is still rare. We studied joint toxicity of FPs with phenanthrene to Daphnia magna and effects of FPs on the environmental fate and bioaccumulation of 14C-phenanthrene in fresh water. Within the five sizes particles we tested (from 50 nm to 10 μm), 50-nm NPs showed significant toxicity and physical damage to D. magna. The joint toxicity of 50-nm NPs and phenanthrene to D. magna showed an additive effect. During a 14-days incubation, the presence of NPs significantly enhanced bioaccumulation of phenanthrene-derived residues in daphnid body and inhibited the dissipation and transformation of phenanthrene in the medium, while 10-μm MPs did not show significant effects on the bioaccumulation, dissipation, and transformation of phenanthrene. The differences may be attributed to higher adsorption of phenanthrene on 50-nm NPs than 10-μm MPs. Our findings underlined the high potential ecological risks of FPs, and suggested that NPs should be given more concerns, in terms of their interaction with hydrophobic pollutants in the environment.

Yini Ma, Anna Huang, Siqi Cao, Feifei Sun, Lianhong Wang, Hongyan Guo, Rong Ji, Environmental Pollution, Volume 219, December 2016, Pages 166–173

The article

Plastics and microplastics on recreational beaches in Punta del Este (Uruguay): Unseen critical residents ?

Beaches are social-ecological systems that provide several services improving human well-being. However, as one of the major coastal interfaces they are subject to plastic pollution, one of the most significant global environmental threats at present. For the first time for Uruguayan beaches, this study assessed and quantified the accumulation of plastic and microplastic debris on sandy beaches of the major touristic destination Punta del Este during the austral spring of 2013. Aiming to provide valuable information for decision-making, we performed a detailed analysis of plastic debris, their eventual transport pathways to the coast (from land and sea), and the associated persistent pollutants. The results indicated that the smallest size fractions (<20 mm) were the dominant size range, with fragments and resin pellets as types with the highest number of items. PAHs and PCBs were found in plastic debris, and their levels did not differ from baseline values reported for similar locations. The abundance of plastic debris was significantly and positively correlated with both the presence of possible land-based sources (e.g. storm-water drains, beach bars, beach access, car parking, and roads), and dissipative beach conditions. The analysis of coastal currents suggested some potential deposition areas along Punta del Este, and particularly for resin pellets, although modeling was not conclusive. From a local management point of view, the development and use of indices that allow predicting trends in the accumulation of plastic debris would be critically useful. The time dimension (e.g. seasonal) should also be considered for this threat, being crucial for locations such as Uruguay, where the use of beaches increases significantly during the summer. This first diagnosis aims to generate scientific baseline, necessary for improved management of plastic litter on beaches and their watersheds.

J.P. Lozoya, F. Teixeira de Mello, D. Carrizo and al., Environmental Pollution, Volume 218, November 2016, Pages 931–941

The article