Occurrence of phthalate esters in the environment of The Netherlands.
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TitleOccurrence of phthalate esters in the environment of The Netherlands.
PubliekssamenvattingOverviews of levels of n-dibutylphthalate (DBP) and di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) found in freshwater, marine water, sediment, and fish in the Netherlands are given. Sampling spanned a 9-month period (all seasons except winter) and allowed assessing whether phthalate levels are season dependent. Results obtained are compared to data reported for other Western European countries and a fugacity-based modeling approach is used to assess whether there is equilibrium among the various compartments. Highest levels of dissolved DBP and DEHP were found in freshwater samples, whereas these compounds were usually below the limit of detection (LOD) in marine water and sediment. Median levels were log-normally distributed; statistical analysis showed that sampling season is not a relevant determinant parameter. Similar results were obtained for the freshwater sediment compartment, with DEHP levels exceeding concentrations of DBP. DBP levels in fish were often below the LOD. Nevertheless, mean values around 1.8 microg kg(-1) wet fish were found for both DEHP and DBP. Fugacity calculations revealed that especially for DEHP there is no equilibrium among the compartments. DEHP emissions are directed to water, whereas the calculations reveal that sediments provide a sink for DEHP and there is net transport to air. Although it has been suggested that water is the primary compartment for DBP, fugacity plots suggest that air is the compartment to which emissions are directed dominantly. The data reported are in line with values found in Western Europe.
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