Presence, distribution and risk assessment of phthalic acid esters (PAEs) in suburban plastic film pepper-growing greenhouses with different service life.Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2020 Jun 15; 196:110551.EE
The widespread usage of plastic film increased the content of phthalic acid esters (PAEs) in the environment, causing PAE residue in vegetables and subsequently increasing health risks to humans when consuming them. In this work, the presence, distribution and risk assessment of 15 PAEs in soils and peppers from suburban plastic film pepper-growing greenhouses were investigated. The total PAE contents in soil and pepper samples ranged from 320.1 to 971.2 μg/kg (586.3 μg/kg on average) and from 196.6 to 304.2 μg/kg (245.4 μg/kg on average), respectively. Di (2-ethyl)hexyl, dibutyl and diisobutyl phthalates (DEHP, DnBP and DiBP, respectively) were the most abundant in both soil and pepper samples. Specifically, DEHP showed the highest content in soils, while the DnBP content was the highest in peppers. The total PAE content in soils from pepper-greenhouses was much lower than in the agricultural soils mulched with plastic films, but significantly higher than in the agricultural soils from open uncovered fields. The total PAE content in peppers decreased as the service life of plastic film greenhouses increased. Correlation analysis suggested that the difference in distribution and accumulation behaviors of individual PAEs in greenhouse systems was correlated with their physicochemical properties. The non-cancer and carcinogenic risks of priority PAEs show low risks of PAEs detected in pepper and soil samples from the suburban plastic film greenhouses to human health.