Plastic resin pellets collected at Minh Chau island and Ba Lat estuary between 2007 and 2014 in Vietnam were analyzed for dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethanes (DDTs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs). The study was carried out as part of the International Pellet Watch program for monitoring the global distribution of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Higher levels of DDTs compared to PCBs indicated agricultural inputs rather than industrial discharges in the region. Most POP concentrations on both beaches decreased over the period, with the exception of HCH isomers. Though the concentration of DDTs showed a drastic decline on both beaches between 2007/2008 and 2014, DDTs accounted for 60-80% of total DDTs, suggesting that there is still a fresh input of these chemicals in the region. This study strongly recommends further investigations to track temporal and spatial patterns of POP levels in the marine environment using plastic resin pellets.
In this study, we analyzed hydroxylated polychlorinated biphenyls (OH-PCBs) in urine of both PCB transport workers and PCB researchers. A method to monitor OH-PCB in urine was developed. Urine was solid-phase extracted with 0.1% ammonia/ methanol (v/v) and glucuronic acid/sulfate conjugates and then decomposed using β-glucuronidase/arylsulfatase. After alkaline digestion/derivatization, the concentration of OH-PCBs was determined by HRGC/HRMS-SIM. In the first sampling campaign, the worker's OH-PCB levels increased several fold after the PCB waste transportation work, indicating exposure to PCBs. The concentration of OH-PCBs in PCB transport workers' urine (0.55~11 μg/g creatinine (Cre)) was higher than in PCB researchers' urine (
Nineteen pairs of air and seawater samples collected from the equatorial Indian Ocean onboard the Shiyan I from 4/2011 to 5/2011 were analyzed for PCBs and HCB. Gaseous concentrations of ∑(ICES)PCBs (ICES: International Council for the Exploration of the Seas) and HCB were lower than previous data over the study area. Air samples collected near the coast had higher levels of PCBs relative to those collected in the open ocean, which may be influenced by proximity to source regions and air mass origins. Dissolved concentrations of ∑(ICES)PCBs and HCB were 1.4-14 pg L⁻¹ and 0.94-13 pg L⁻¹, with the highest concentrations in the sample collected from Strait of Malacca. Fugacity fractions suggest volatilization of PCBs and HCB from the seawater to air during the cruise, with fluxes of 0.45-34 ng m⁻² d⁻¹ and 0.36-18 ng m⁻² d⁻¹, respectively.
Historical trends of the accumulation of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in a typical tropical Asian environment were investigated using radio-dated sediment cores from Manila Bay, the Philippines and from the upper Gulf of Thailand. Vertical profiles indicated earlier usage of PCBs than of PBDEs which coincided with their industrial production. The increasing concentrations of total PBDEs and PCBs toward the surface suggested an increased consumption of PBDEs; and possible leakage of PCBs from old machineries into the aquatic environment in recent years. Current input of PCBs to the catchment of Manila Bay was supported by the analyses of air samples and plastic resin pellets. The vertical profiles of total PBDEs in the cores (i.e., rapidly increasing concentrations corresponding to the mid-1980s until mid-1990s, followed by a decrease until the early 2000s, and increasing again toward the surface) likely corresponded to the rapid economic growth in Asia in the 1990s, the Asian financial crisis in 1997, and the economic recovery since early 2000s. BDE-209 was predominant especially on the surface layers. BDEs 47 and 99 generally decreased toward the surface, reflecting the phase-out of the technical penta-PBDE products and the regulation by the Stockholm Convention in recent years. Increasing ratios of BDE-202/209, 206/209, 207/209 and decreasing % of BDE-209 down the core layers may provide evidence for the anaerobic debromination of BDE-209 in the sediment cores. Inventories in ng/cm(2) of total PCBs were higher than total PBDEs (92 vs. 34 and 47 vs. 11 in the Philippines; 47 vs. 33 in Thailand). However, the doubling times indicated faster accumulation of total PBDEs (6-7 years) and BDE-209 (6-7.5 years) than of PCBs (8-11 years). Furthermore, the temporal increase in BDE-209 was comparable to or faster than those reported in other water bodies around the world.
Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) was detected as isomer groups (congener numbers 28, 52, 101, 118, 138, 153 and 180) in the coastal water and sediment of four stations around Shadegan wetland protected area in the northwestern part of the Persian Gulf. Total PCB concentration range was 8-375 ng/L in water and 3.4-50.2 μg/g in sediment. Concentration of different congeners and chromatogram indicates that the source of PCB in this area can be Clophen A60; it used for long time in Iranian electronic industries. Other chlorinated hydrocarbons such as lindane, DDT and their metabolites were also present in the samples.
Field and laboratory studies were conducted to estimate concentration of potential contaminants from landfill in the underlying groundwater, leachate, and surface water. Samples collected in the vicinity of the landfill were analyzed for physiochemical parameters, organic contaminants, and toxic heavy metals. Water quality results obtained were compared from published data and reports. The results indicate serious groundwater and surface water contamination in and around the waste disposal site. Analysis of the organic samples revealed that the site contains polychlorinated biphenyls and other organo-chlorine chemicals, principally chloro-benzenes. Although the amount of PCB concentration discovered was not extreme, their presence indicates a potentially serious environmental threat. Elevated concentrations of lead, copper, nickel, manganese, cadmium, and cobalt at the downgradient indicate that the contamination plume migrated further from the site, and the distribution of metals and metals containing wastes in the site is nonhomogeneous. These results clearly indicate that materials are poorly contained and are at risk of entering the environment. Therefore, full characterization of the dump contents and the integrity of the site are necessary to evaluate the scope of the problem and to identify suitable remediation options.
Public concern about the adverse environmental and human health impacts of organochlorine contaminants led to strict regulations on their use in developed nations two decades ago. Nevertheless, DDT and several other organochlorine insecticides are still being used for agriculture and public health programs in developing countries in Asia and the South Pacific. As a consequence, humans in this region are exposed to greater dietary levels of organochlorines. In this review, published information on organochlorine concentrations in foodstuffs from South and Southeast Asia and Oceanic countries has been compiled. Foodstuffs that contribute to human exposures and dietary intakes of organochlorines were examined, and the data compared with those reported from more developed nations. Among various developing countries in Asia, considerable information on organochlorines in foodstuffs has been available from India since the late 1960s. DDT and HCH were the major insecticides in Indian foodstuffs. Concentrations of these insecticides have declined more than two orders of magnitude in farm products, such as food grains and vegetables, in two decades. Milk and milk products are the major sources of dietary exposure to DDT and HCH in India. The residues of these insecticides in dairy products were close to or above the MRLs of the FAO/WHO. Dietary intake of DDT and HCH by Indians was > 100 fold that in more developed nations. Sporadic incidences of greater concentrations (> 1 microgram/g) of aldrin, dieldrin, and heptachlor have been measured in Indian vegetables. Untreated surface waters could be a potential source of DDT and HCH exposure. In most Southeast Asian countries DDT was the common contaminant in animal origin foodstuffs. The higher percentage of p,p'-DDT in meat and fish from Southeast Asian countries, except Japan and Korea, indicated the recent use of DDt in vector control operations. Dietary intakes of DDt and HCH in Southeast Asia were an order of magnitude less than those of Indians but 5- to 10 fold greater than in more developed nations. In addition to DDT, aldrin and dieldrin were prominent in meat collected from Thailand and Malaysia. Aquatic food products from more industrialized countries, such as Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, contained significant levels of PCBs. In South Pacific countries, particularly in Australia and New Zealand, chlordanes and PCBs were the most prevalent organochlorines in foodstuffs. Food contamination by DDT, HCH, aldrin, and dieldrin was less than in developing countries in Asia but greater than in the U.S. and Japan. Intake of PCBs in Australia was greater than in the U.S. Meat and fish were the major sources of organochlorine exposure by Australians. Human dietary intake of organochlorines has been declining more slowly in developing countries in Asia. Current intakes were at least 5- to 100 fold greater than those in more developed nations, suggesting a greater risk from organochlorine exposure. Factors such as malnutrition, common among rural poor in developing nations, can increase these risks. Of greatest concern is the magnitude of exposure to organochlorines to which infants and children are subjected through human and dairy milk. The estimated intake of DDT by infants was at least 100 fold greater than the ADI of the FAO/WHO. In addition to DDT, excessive exposures to HCH and dieldrin may cause potential health effects in infants because they are more vulnerable to toxic effects. The design and implementation of appropriate epidemiological studies and their integration with monitoring of human, food, and environmental samples would be a major step in assessing the risks of organochlorine residues in foods and controlling or eliminating them. With the continued globalization of trade in food products, and the concomitant risk that food contaminated through point-source pollution may be widely distributed, identification of sources and their control should be matters of
Malaysia is a developing country in Southeast Asia, with rapid industrial and economic growth. Speedy population growth and aggressive consumerism in the past five decades have resulted in environmental pollution issues, including products containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). PCBs and PBDEs are classified as persistent organic pollutants (POPs) by the Stockholm Convention due to their persistence, bioaccumulation in the environment and toxicity to humans and wildlife. These compounds are known to cause liver dysfunction, thyroid toxicity, developmental neuro-toxicity and possibly cancer. PCBs in air, mussels, pellets, seawater, fresh water, and human breast milk samples were analyzed in Malaysia, while studies on the pollution level of PBDEs in Malaysia were conducted on mussels, soils, leachate and sediment samples. PCBs in breast milk collected from Malaysia was the highest among Asian developing countries, with mean concentration of 80 ng/g lipid weight. On the other hand, the mean concentration of PCBs in mussels collected from Malaysia recorded the second lowest, with 56 ng/g and 89 ng/g lipid weight in two studies respectively. The concentrations of PBDEs in mussels taken from Malaysia fall in the range of 0.84-16 ng/g lipid weight, which is considerably low compared to 104.5 ng/g lipid weight in Philippines and 90.59 ng/g in Korea. Nevertheless, there are limited studies on these compounds in Malaysia, particularly there is no research on PBDEs in breast milk and sediment samples. This review will summarize the contamination levels of PCBs and PBDEs in different samples collected from Asian countries since 1988 until 2010 with a focus on Malaysia and will provide needed information for further research in this field.
This study reports the concentrations and congener partners of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in commercially available paints. Polycyclic-type pigments containing dioxazine violet (pigment violet (PV) 23, PV37) and diketopyrrolopyrrole (PR254, PR255) were found to contain PCB-56, PCB-77, PCB-40, PCB-5, and PCB-12, and PCB-6, PCB-13, and PCB-15, respectively, as major congeners. Dioxazine violet is contaminated with by-products during synthesis from o-dichlorobenzene, which is used as a solvent during synthesis, and diketopyrrolopyrrole is contaminated with by-products during synthesis from p-chlorobenzonitrile. The concentration of PCBs in paint containing PV23 or PV37 was 0.050-29 mg/kg, and toxic equivalency (TEQ) values ranged 1.1-160 pg-TEQ/g. The concentration of PCBs in paint containing PR254 or PR255 was 0.0019-2.4 mg/kg. Naphthol AS is an azo-type pigment, and PCB-52 was detected in paint containing pigment red (PR) 9 with 2,5-dichloroaniline as its source. PCB-146, PCB-149, and PCB-153 were identified from paint containing PR112 produced from 2,4,5-trichloroaniline, as major congeners. These congeners have chlorine positions similar to aniline, indicating that these congeners are by-products obtained during the synthesis of pigments. The concentrations of PCBs in paints containing PR9 and PR112 were 0.0042-0.43 and 0.0044-3.8 mg/kg, respectively. The corresponding TEQ for PR112 was 0.0039-8.6 pg-TEQ/g.
A total of 127 and 177 seafood samples from Malaysia were analyzed for polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (dl-PCBs), respectively. The World Health Organization-toxic-equivalency quotients (WHO-TEQ) of PCDD/Fs varied from 0.13 to 1.03 pg TEQ g(-1), whereas dl-PCBs ranged from 0.33 to 1.32 pg TEQ g(-1). Based on food-consumption data from the global environment monitoring system-food contamination monitoring and assessment programme, calculated dietary exposures to PCDD/Fs and dl-PCBs from seafood for the general population in Malaysia were 0.042 and 0.098 pg TEQ kg(-1) body weight day(-1), respectively. These estimations were quite different from the values calculated using the Malaysian food-consumption statistics (average of 0.313 and 0.676 pg TEQ kg(-1) body weight day(-1) for PCDD/Fs and PCBs, respectively). However, both of the dietary exposure estimations were lower than the tolerable daily intake recommended by WHO. Thus, it is suggested that seafood from Malaysia does not pose a notable risk to the health of the average consumer.
Contamination of persistent organochlorines (OCs) such as PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), DDT and its metabolites (DDTs), HCH (hexachlorocyclohexane) isomers (HCHs), chlordane compounds (CHLs), and HCB (hexachlorobenzene) were examined in mussels collected from coastal waters of Asian countries such as Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Far East Russia, Singapore, and Vietnam in 1994, 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2001 to elucidate the contamination status, distribution and possible pollution sources and to assess the risks on aquatic organisms and human. OCs were detected in all mussels collected from all the sampling sites investigated. Considerable residue levels of p,p(')-DDT and alpha-HCH were found in mussels and the concentrations of DDTs and HCHs found in mussels from Asian developing countries were higher than those in developed nations suggesting present usage of DDTs and HCHs along the coastal waters of Asian developing countries. On the other hand, lower concentrations of PCBs detected in mussels from Asian developing countries than those in developed countries indicate that PCBs contamination in mussels is strongly related to industrial and activities. To our knowledge, this is a first comprehensive report on monitoring OCs pollution in the Asia-Pacific region.
Despite the ubiquity of microplastics (MPs) in aquatic environments and their proven ability to carry a wide variety of chemicals, very little is known about the impacts of virgin or contaminant-loaded MPs on organisms. The primary aim of this study was to investigate the impacts of virgin or phenanthrene (Phe)-loaded low-density polyethylene (LDPE) fragments on a suite of biomarker responses in juvenile African catfish (Clarias gariepinus). Virgin LDPE (50 or 500µg/L) were preloaded with one of two nominal Phe concentrations (10 or 100µg/L) and were exposed to the fish for 96h. Our findings showed one or both Phe treatments significantly increased the degree of tissue change (DTC) in the liver while decreased the transcription levels of forkhead box L2 (foxl2) and tryptophan hydroxylase2 (tph2) in the brain of C. gariepinus. Exposure to either levels of virgin MPs increased the DTC in the liver and plasma albumin: globulin ratio while decreased the transcription levels of tph2. Moreover, MPs modulated (interacted with) the impact of Phe on the DTC in the gill, plasma concentrations of cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), total protein (TP), albumin, and globulin, and the transcription levels of fushi tarazu-factor 1 (ftz-f1), gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), 11 β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 (11β-hsd2), and liver glycogen stores. Results of this study highlight the ability of virgin LDPE fragments to cause toxicity and to modulate the adverse impacts of Phe in C. gariepinus. Due to the wide distribution of MPs and other classes of contaminants in aquatic environments, further studies are urgently needed to elucidate the toxicity of virgin or contaminant-loaded MPs on organisms.
An average 50 ml breast milk samples were collected from 21 lactating primiparous mothers (range 25 to 45 years, mean 33 years), 4-8 weeks after delivery in Penang Island, Malaysia. The geometric mean concentration of the most toxic congeners, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (2,3,7,8-TCDD) was 0.14 pg WHO2005-TEQ g-1 zlipid. The most abundant congeners of PCDD/Fs were octachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (OCDD) (5.9-75.4%), followed by 1,2,3,4,6,7,8-heptachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (1,2,3,4,6,7,8-HpCDD) (1.1-30.7%). The geometric mean level of total dioxins and dl-PCBs was 2.2 pg WHO2005-TEQ g-1 lipid, significantly lower than those in developed countries or highly contaminated areas. The total dioxins and dl-PCBs in pg WHO2005-TEQ levels in breast milk were significantly correlated with years of residence at potential contaminated site. The average daily intake of 11.8 pg WHO2005-TEQ kg-1 body weight was estimated for a breastfed infant at 6 months of age. This demonstrates the exposure risk to infants, especially from Penang region, to these pollutants from human milk intake are potentially high during the lactation period.
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were monitored in surface water collected in the Selangor River basin, Malaysia, to identify the occurrence, distribution, and dechlorination process as well as to assess the potential adverse effects to the Malaysian population. Ten PCB homologs (i.e., mono-CBs to deca-CBs) were quantitated by using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS). The total concentration of PCBs in the 10 sampling sites ranged from limit of detection to 7.67 ng L(-1). The higher chlorinated biphenyls (tetra-CBs to deca-CBs) were almost not detected in most of the sampling sites, whereas lower chlorinated biphenyls (mono-CBs, di-CBs, and tri-CBs) dominated more than 90 % of the 10 homologs in all the sampling sites. Therefore, the PCB load was estimated to be negligible during the sampling period because PCBs have an extremely long half-life. The PCBs, particularly higher chlorinated biphenyls, could be thoroughly dechlorinated to mono-CBs to tri-CBs by microbial decomposition in sediment or could still be accumulated in the sediment. The lower chlorinated biphenyls, however, could be resuspended or desorbed from the sediment because they have faster desorption rates and higher solubility, compared to the higher chlorinated biphenyls. The health risk for the Malaysia population by PCB intake that was estimated from the local fish consumption (7.2 ng kg(-1) bw day(-1)) and tap water consumption (1.5 × 10(-3)-3.1 × 10(-3) ng kg(-1) bw day(-1)) based on the detected PCB levels in the surface water was considered to be minimal. The hazard quotient based on the tolerable daily intake (20 ng kg(-1) bw day(-1)) was estimated at 0.36.