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Occurrence and distribution of pharmaceutically active and endocrine disrupting compounds in Singapore's marine environment: Influence of hydrodynamics and physical–chemical properties

Bayen, Stéphane, Zhang, Hui, Desai, Malan Manish, Ooi, Seng Keat, Kelly, Barry C.
Environmental pollution 2013 v.182 pp. 1-8
emissions, endocrine-disrupting chemicals, hydrodynamics, ibuprofen, marine ecosystems, marine environment, models, principal component analysis, risk, seawater, wastewater treatment, Singapore
The fate and exposure risks of pharmaceutically active compounds (PhACs) and endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in marine environments are not well-understood. In this study we developed a multi-residue analytical method for quantifying concentrations of forty target compounds in seawater from Singapore. Analyses of samples (n = 24) from eight sites showed the occurrence of several compounds, including gemfibrozil (<0.09–19.8 ng/L), triclosan (<0.55–10.5 ng/L), carbamazepine (<0.28–10.9 ng/L) and ibuprofen (<2.2–9.1 ng/L). A 3D hydrodynamic model for Singapore was used to predict residence time (tR). Principal Components Analysis revealed a strong relationship between tR and contaminant concentrations. While source emissions are undoubtedly important, proximate distance to a wastewater treatment plant had little influence on concentrations. The site with the greatest tR, which exhibited the highest concentrations, is adjacent to Singapore's largest protected wetland reserve. The results highlight an important linkage between hydrodynamic behavior and contaminant exposure risks in complex coastal marine ecosystems.