Occurrence and distribution of phthalate esters in riverine sediments from the Pearl River Delta region, South China.Mar Pollut Bull. 2014 Jun 15; 83(1):358-65.MP
Sixty-eight sediment samples collected from Dongjiang River, Xijiang River, Beijiang River and Zhujiang River in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region, Southern China, were analyzed for 16 phthalate esters (PAEs). PAEs were detected in all riverine sediments analyzed, which indicate that PAEs are ubiquitous environmental contaminants. The Σ16PAEs concentrations in riverine sediments in the PRD region ranged from 0.567 to 47.3 μg g(-1) dry weight (dw), with the mean and median concentrations of 5.34 μg g(-1) dw and 2.15 μg g(-1) dw, respectively. Elevated PAEs concentrations in riverine sediments in the PRD region were found in the highly urbanized and industrialized areas. Of the 16 PAEs, diisobutyl phthalate (DiBP), di-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP) and di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) dominated the PAEs, with the mean and median concentrations of 1.12 μg g(-1)dw, 0.420 μg g(-1) dw and 3.72 μg g(-1) dw, and 0.429 μg g(-1) dw, 0.152 μg g(-1) dw and 1.55 μg g(-1) dw, respectively, and accounted for 94.2-99.7% of the Σ16PAEs concentrations. Influenced by local sources and the properties of PAEs, a gradient trend of concentrations and a fractionation of composition from more to less industrialized and urbanized areas were discovered. As compared to the results from other studies, the riverine sediments in the PRD region were severely contaminated with PAEs. Information about PAEs contamination status and its effect on the aquatic organisms in the PRD region may deserve further attention.