Main content area

Sorption and bioaccumulation behavior of multi-class hydrophobic organic contaminants in a tropical marine food web

Zhang, Hui, Kelly, Barry C.
Chemosphere 2018 v.199 pp. 44-53
aquatic food webs, bioaccumulation factor, bioavailability, ethane, fish, hexabromocyclododecane, hydrophobicity, marine ecosystems, organic carbon, organochlorine pesticides, partition coefficients, persistent organic pollutants, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, polychlorinated biphenyls, sorption, stereoisomers, Singapore
While numerous studies have demonstrated the environmental behavior of legacy persistent organic pollutants (POPs), such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), information regarding sorption and bioaccumulation potential of other widely used organic chemicals such as halogenated flame retardants (HFRs) is limited. This study involved a comprehensive field investigation of multi-class hydrophobic organic contaminants (HOCs) in environmental media and fish in Singapore Strait, an important tropical maritime strait in Southeast Asia. In total, 90 HOCs were analyzed, including HFRs, synthetic musks, PCBs, OCPs, as well as triclosan and methyl triclosan. The results show that the organic carbon normalized sediment-seawater distribution ratios (CSED/CWD) of the studied compounds are comparable to the organic carbon-water partition coefficients (KOC), over a log KOC range of approximately 4–11. The observed species-specific bioaccumulation factors (BAFs), biota-sediment accumulation factors (BSAFs), organism-environment media fugacity ratios (fFISH/fWD and fFISH/fSED) and trophic magnification factors (TMFs) indicate that legacy POPs and PBDE 47 show bioaccumulation behavior in this tropical marine ecosystem, while triclosan, tonalide, dodecachlorodimethanodibenzocyclooctane stereoisomers (DDC-COs), and hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDDs) do not. Methyl triclosan and galaxolide exhibit moderate biomagnification. Tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) and 1,2-bis (2,4,6-tribromophenoxy)ethane (BTBPE) were detected in environmental media but not in any of the organisms, suggesting low bioaccumulation potential of these flame retardants. The apparently low bioaccumulation potential of the studied HFRs and synthetic musks is likely because of metabolic transformation and/or reduced bioavailability due to the hydrophobic nature of these compounds.