Distribution of phthalate esters in agricultural soil with plastic film mulching in Shandong Peninsula, East China.Chemosphere. 2016 Dec; 164:314-321.C
The content of phthalate esters (PAEs) was investigated in 36 vegetable fields with plastic film mulching in Shandong Peninsula, East China. Soils at depths of 0-10 cm, 10-20 cm, and 20-40 cm were collected, and 16 PAEs were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. PAEs were detected in all the analyzed samples. The total contents of the 16 PAEs (Σ16PAEs) ranged from 1.374 to 18.810 mg/kg, with an average of 6.470 mg/kg. Among the four areas of Shandong Peninsula, including Qingdao, Weihai, Weifang, and Yantai, the highest Σ16PAE in the soil was observed in Weifang district (9.786 mg/kg), which is famous for large-scale vegetable production. Despite the significant differences among the Σ16PAEs, the PAE compositions in soils with plastic film mulching in Shandong Peninsula were comparable. Diethyl phthalate (DEP), diisobutyl phthalate, and di(4-methyl-2-pentyl) phthalate were present in all the samples, whereas di-n-hexyl phthalate was detected only in Qingdao (∼1%) and dicyclohexyl phthalate was observed only in Weifang (5.7-8.2%) in low proportions. The ratios of dimethyl phthalate, DEP, and di-n-butyl phthalate, which exceeded allowable concentrations, were 63.9-100% at different soil depths, indicating high PAE pollution. The concentration of butyl benzyl phthalate detected only in Weifang exceeded the recommended allowable soil concentration. Overall, the high PAE content in the soil with plastic film mulching in Shandong Peninsula is an issue of concern because of the large amounts of plastic film used.