Risk assessment of marine environments from ballast water discharges with laboratory-scale hydroxyl radicals treatment in Tianjin Harbour, China

For the majority of ballast water treatment system (BWTS) that employ active substances (e.g., oxidative compounds), relevant chemicals (RCs) formation is an issue owing to their potential adverse effects on aquatic organisms. Accordingly, BWTS must be approved by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), and the approval procedure requires environmental risk assessment. The most commonly employed harbour used to calculate predicted environmental concentrations (PECs) for RCs in treated ballast water is the GESAMP-BWWG (Group of Experts on Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection-Ballast Water Working Group) model harbour. However, there is very little assessment data available regarding the associated environmental impacts in ports and harbours of China. Therefore, in this study the concentration of fifteen RCs from the existing laboratory-scale BWTS using hydroxyl radicals was obtained and input into the MAMPEC (Marine Antifoulant Model to Predict Environmental Concentrations) model to compute PECs in Tianjin Harbour, China. The potential risks to the aquatic environment posed by treated ballast water in Tianjin Harbour were further assessed based on the calculated ratio of PECs and predicted no effect concentrations (PNECs). Only monochloroacetic acid and dichloroacetic acid were found to have potential risks, and the ratios of PECs and PNECs to the other measured RCs were less than 1, indicating that the environmental risk posed by treated ballast water discharged into Tianjin Harbour is of little concern. The concentration of total residual oxidant recommended by the IMO (<0.2 mg/L) in treated ballast water at discharge was found to be at levels that may pose a risk to the aquatic environment in Tianjin Harbour. Authors: Zhang N, Zhang Y, Bai M, Zhang Z, Chen C, Meng X. ;Full Source: Journal of Environmental Management. 2014 Dec 1;145:122-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2014.06.022. Epub 2014 Jul 12. ;