Geographical distribution and risk assessment of persistent organic pollutants in golden threads (Nemipterus virgatus) from the northern South China Sea
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Fish are often used as good bioindicators to monitor the occurrence of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) on different scales in recent years. Forty-five golden threads (Nemipterus virgatus) were collected from six sampling sites in the northern South China Sea (SCS) to investigate the geographical distribution of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane and its metabolites (DDTs). Concentrations of PBDEs, PCBs, and DDTs ranged from 1.3–36.0, 2.3–76.5, 8.3–228 ng/g lipid weight, respectively. The highest PBDEs and DDTs concentrations were found in golden threads from Shantou, owing to the intensive electronic waste recycling activities and rapid development of agriculture. Samples from Haikou had the highest levels of PCBs, probably due to the existence of many shipbuilding yards in the past years. The concentrations of PBDEs and PCBs were found in a decreasing trend from east to west and from north to south, while DDTs concentrations had no obvious trend in the distribution. PCBs were the most prevalent contaminants in Xiamen and Yangjiang, while DDTs were the dominant compounds at the other four sampling sites. Different profiles of POPs at each sampling site may attribute to different pollution sources in the northern SCS. Ratios of (DDD + DDE)/DDTs in golden threads suggested the probability of fresh input of DDT in the northern SCS. The estimated daily intakes of PBDEs, PCBs and DDTs were 0.030–0.069, 0.167–0.258 and 0.105–1.88 ng/kg/day, respectively, which were significantly lower than the acceptable daily intake, suggesting that consumption of golden threads from the northern SCS would not subject the residents in the coastal areas of SCS to significant health risk.
KeywordsPersistent organic pollutants Golden thread Geographical distribution The northern South China Sea
This study was financially supported by the National Nature Science Foundation of China (Nos. 41401576, 51378488 and 41230639), Guangdong Natural Science Foundation (No. S2013040016910), Open Fund of Key Laboratory for Ecological Environment in Coastal Areas, State Oceanic Administration (201307). Zi-Rong Huang from South China Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences is acknowledged for his help in fish sample collection.
Conflict of interest
We declare that we have no financial and personal relationships with other people and/or organizations that can inappropriately influence our work, there is no professional or other personal interest of any nature or kind in any product, service and/or company that could be construed as influencing the position presented in, or the review of, the manuscript entitled “Geographical distribution and risk assessment of persistent organic pollutants in golden threads (Nemipterus virgatus) from the northern South China Sea”.
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