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Sci Total Environ. 2008 Jul 15;398(1-3):196-202. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2008.03.023. Epub 2008 May 1.

Solar driven production of toxic halogenated and nitroaromatic compounds in natural seawater.

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Dipartimento di Chimica Analitica, Università di Torino, Torino, Italy.


Natural seawater (NSW) sampled in March and June 2007 in the Gulf of Trieste, Italy, has been spiked with phenol and irradiated in a device simulating solar light spectrum and intensity. Opposite to the case of artificial seawater, for which phenol is slightly degraded by direct photolysis, in NSW the phenol degradation mediated by natural photosensitizers occurs, forming several secondary pollutants, including hydroxyderivatives (1,4-benzoquinone, resorcinol), three chlorophenol isomers, 2,3-dichlorophenol, 2- and 4-bromophenol, 2- and 4-nitrophenol, and several condensed products (2 and 4-phenoxyphenol, 2,2'-, 4,4'- and 2,4-bisphenol). These compounds are toxic to bacteria and other living organisms. Ecotoxicologic effect has been evaluated by using the Vibrio Fischeri luminescent bacteria assay. This technique uses marine organisms, and it is therefore well suited for the study on marine samples. A correlation exists between the intermediates evolution and the toxicity profile, as the largest toxicity is observed when compounds with the lower EC50 (halophenols, phenoxyphenols) are formed at higher concentration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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