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Environ Sci Technol. 2005 Jul 1;39(13):4801-7.

Trophodynamic behavior of 4-nonylphenol and nonylphenol polyethoxylate in a marine aquatic food web from Bohai Bay, north China: comparison to DDTs.

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College of Environmental Science, Peking University, Beijing, 100871 China.


4-Nonylphenol (4-NP) is of particular concern because of its ubiquity in aquatic environment and its endocrine-disrupting effects in aquatic organisms. On the basis of its octanol-water partition coefficient (104.6), it has a potential to bioaccumulate in aquatic food webs. However, there are no reported field studies on the trophodynamics of 4-NP and its precursor, nonylphenol polyethoxylate (NPEOs) surfactants, in aquatic food webs. This study reports the trophodynamics of 4-NP and NPEOs (4 < s < 16) in a marine aquatic food web from Bohai Bay, North China. 4-NP and NPEOs (4 < s < 16) were determined in 14 marine species including plankton, benthic invertebrates, fish, and marine birds. This paper provides the first report on the occurrence of NPEOs with s > 5 in marine biota. Co-analysis of DDTs in all samples allowed a direct comparison of the bioaccumulation behavior of DDTs with that of NP and NPEOs. The lipid equivalent concentration of DDE and 2,2-bis(chlorophenyl)-1-chloroethylene (DDMU) increased with increasing trophic level, and the trophic level was determined by stable isotope ratios. The trophic magnification factors (TMFs) of DDE and DDMU were 3.26 and 3.7, respectively. Lipid equivalent concentrations of 4-NP and of all NPEOs did not exhibit a statistically significant correlation with trophic levels in the food web, and the TMF of NP was 0.83, which was similar to those of all NPEOs (0.45-1.22). These results show that in the studied aquatic food web, there was no trophic magnification for 4-NP and NPEOs, whereas DDE and DDMU biomagnified.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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