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Spatio-temporal distribution of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in marine sediments from industrialized coastal regions in Korea

Spatio-temporal distribution of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in marine sediments from industrialized coastal regions in Korea
Minkyu Park
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Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are commonly used as plasticizer, flame retardants, pesticides, cosmetics, and personal care products. EDCs are ubiquitous in environment because of its large volume of usage. Due to its bioaccumulation, persistence, and toxicities, concerns about EDCs have been growing in the environment. Ulsan, Onsan, and Masan Bays have been designated as the ‘Special Management Coastal Zone (SMCZ)’ by the Korea government since 2000 due to severe contamination by organic and inorganic pollutants. In this study, eight bisphenol analogues (BPs), five benzophenone UV-filters (BzPs), ten parabens (PBs), and two antimicrobials (TCC/TCS) were determined in surface sediments from Ulsan, Onsan, and Masan Bay and core sediment from Ulsan Bay by using high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS), to investigate the spatio-temporal distribution and source identification of EDCs. In addition, a sediment core was collected from Ulsan Bay to assess the pollution history of these contaminants in coastal environment of Korea. Several EDCs were detected in almost all of the surface sediments and a core sediment, indicating widespread contamination in coastal environment of Korea by these contaminants. The highest concentrations of BPs and TCC/TCS were found at the sediments from the Gosa Stream, which encompassed by petrochemical, steel, and mechanical complexes. The highest PB concentration was found at the sediments from Woihwang River which surrounded by petrochemical, mechanical, and steel industries. Inner parts of bays showed higher concentrations of EDCs than those found in the outer bay. The decreasing trends were also found in the sediment from the outfall of a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) to outer bays with increasing distance. This result suggests the contamination sources of several EDCs in coastal environment are located in river and stream and from the WWTP. The concentrations of bisphenol A (BPA) in coastal sediment was higher or comparable to those found in other studies, while the concentrations of BP-3 and TCS were lower than those found in previous studies. The concentrations of PBs were located within the ranges from the previous studies reported. Significant correlations were found among the concentrations of EDCs in surface sediments, indicating similar contamination sources and/or behavior in coastal environment. In this study, the historical records of EDCs (BPs and TCC/TCS) were well matched with local and global consumption patterns, indicating that sediment core could be a good environmental matrix for representing the contamination status of these pollutants. However, the other EDCs (PBs and BzPs) showed different patterns with BPs and TCC/TCS due to different physico-chemical properties. Considering spatio-temporal distribution and accumulated evidences on toxicity on these contaminants, the comprehensive monitoring of EDCs and their biological effects in coastal environment should be needed to protect the health of wildlife species in coastal environment.
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