Marine environmental research

Environmental occurrence and biota concentration of phthalate esters in Epe and Lagos Lagoons, Nigeria.

PMID 25935094


The high global occurrence of phthalates in different environmental matrixes has resulted in the detection of their metabolites in human urine, blood, and breast milk, indicating a widespread human exposure. In addition, the notorious endocrine disrupting effects of phthalates have shown that they mimic or antagonize the action of endogenous hormones, consequently producing adverse effects on reproduction, growth and development. Herein, we have studied the occurrence of phthalate esters (PEs) in water, sediment and biota of two lagoons (Epe and Lagos) in Nigeria. Two fish species (Tilapia guineensis, and Chrysichthys nigrodigitatus) and a crustacean (the African river prawn--Macrobrachium vollenhovenii) were analyzed for PEs levels using a HPLC method and the derived values were used for calculating bioconcentration factor (BCF), biota-sediment accumulation factor (BSAF) and phthalate pollution index (PPI) in the biota and environment. We observed that the growth and health condition of the fish species were normal with a k-factor of >1. Sediment PE levels were compared with water, at both lagoons showing concentration pattern that is characterized as DEHP = DEP > DBP. We observed that DBP was the predominant compound in T. guineensis, C. nigrodigitatus and African prawn, at both lagoons, showing organ-specific differences in bioconcentration (BCF and BSAF) patterns in the fish species. While there were no observed consistency in the pattern of PE concentration in fish organs, elevated DBP levels in different fish organs may be related to fish habitat and degradation level of phthalates. Low concentration of DEHP, compared with DBP and DEP, was measured in fish organs and whole prawn body. The BSAF values for DEHP were lowest, and highest for DBP for all species at both lagoons, and DEHP easily accumulated more in the sediment (sediment PPI = 0.28 and 0.16 for Epe and Lagos lagoon, respectively). Overall, our findings suggest a broader environmental and human health implication of the high PE levels in these lagoons since they represent significant sources of aquatic food resources for the neighboring communities.

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DBP, 98% (HPLC)
Diethyl phthalate, 99.5%
Diethyl phthalate, ≥99%