Five homologs (C10-C14) of linear alkylbenzene sulfonate (LAS) were quantitated in surface water collected in the Langat and Selangor River basins using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). A geographic information system (GIS) was used to spatially analyze the occurrence of LAS in both river basins, and the LAS contamination associated with the population was elucidated by spatial analysis at a sub-basin level. The LAS concentrations in the dissolved phase (<0.45 μm) and 4 fractions separated by particle size (<0.1 μm, 0.1-1 μm, 1-11 μm and >11 μm) were analyzed to elucidate the environmental fate of LAS in the study area. The environmental risks of the observed LAS concentration were assessed based on predicted no effect concentration (PNEC) normalized by a quantitative structure-activity relationship model. The LAS contamination mainly occurred from a few populated sub-basins, and it was correlated with the population density and ammonia nitrogen. The dissolved phase was less than 20% in high contamination sites (>1000 μg/L), whereas it was more than 60% in less contaminated sites (<100 μg/L). The environmental fate of LAS in the study area was primarily subject to the adsorption to suspended solids rather than biodegradation because the LAS homologs, particularly in longer alkyl chain lengths, were considerably absorbed to the large size fraction (>11 μm) that settled in a few hours. The observed LAS concentrations exceeded the normalized PNEC at 3 sites, and environmental risk areas and susceptible areas to the LAS contamination were spatially identified based on their catchment areas.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.