Seasonal distribution, risks, and sources of endocrine disrupting chemicals in coastal waters: Will these emerging contaminants pose potential risks in marine environment at continental-scale?


Coastal waters are the critical ecologically fragile regions under the influence of the fastest economic developing pace and the extensive anthropogenic activities in coastal zone. Little information on the seasonal distribution, risks, and sources of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) which are emerging contaminants to pose potential risks at very low concentrations in coastal waters at continental-scale is available. This study investigated the coastline-based distribution, risks, and sources of target EDCs in coastal water of China. EDCs in coastal waters of China showed significant spatio-temporal variation with phenolic compounds serving as predominant EDCs. Bisphenol A (BPA) was detected in all water samples with average concentration of 449.2/186.3 ng/L in winter/summer while estrone was the main steroidal estrogen with the average concentration of 87.2/2.7 ng/L in winter/summer. EDCs in coastal waters of South China Sea Area showed higher concentrations. EDCs in coastal waters exerted high ecological risks and estrone/BPA averagely accounted for over 61%/71% of total risk quotient in winter/summer. Average estradiol equivalent concentration of all target EDCs reached 68.87/1.76 ng/L in winter/summer. EDCs in coastal waters did not pose potential non-cancer health risks for humans. The positive matrix factorization (PMF) model was firstly used to identify and quantify possible sources of EDCs. The PMF analysis showed that wastewater and sewage might be the main source for EDCs in coastal waters. EDCs in coastal waters showed high estradiol equivalent concentration and ecological risks at continental-scale, highlighting that EDCs contamination has become a crucial stress affecting the sustainable development of coastal regions.

Authors: Lu J, Zhang C, Wu J, Zhang Y, Lin Y
; Full Source:Chemosphere 2020 Jan 14;247:125907. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.125907. [Epub ahead of print]