A comprehensive monitoring survey for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and phenolic endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) utilizing mussels as sentinel organisms was conducted in South and Southeast Asia as a part of the Asian Mussel Watch project. Green mussel (Perna viridis) samples collected from a total of 48 locations in India, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and the Philippines during 1994-1999 were analyzed for PAHs, EDCs including nonylphenol (NP), octylphenol (OP) and bisphenol A (BPA), and linear alkylbenzenes (LABs) as molecular markers for sewage. Concentrations of NP ranged from 18 to 643 ng/g-dry tissue. The highest levels of NP in Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, and Indonesia were comparable to those observed in Tokyo Bay. Elevated concentrations of EDCs were not observed in Vietnam and Cambodia, probably due to the lower extent of industrialization in these regions. No consistent relationship between concentrations of phenolic EDCs and LABs were found, suggesting that sewage is not a major source of EDCs. Concentrations of PAHs ranged from 11 to 1,133 ng/g-dry, which were categorized as "low to moderate" levels of pollution. The ratio of methylphenanthrenes to phenanthrene (MP/P ratio) was >1.0 in 20 out of 25 locations, indicating extensive input of petrogenic PAHs. This study provides a bench-mark for data on the distribution of anthropogenic contaminants in this region, which is essential in evaluating temporal and spatial variation and effect of future regulatory measures.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.