A preliminary survey of concentrations of nonylphenol and octylphenol in rivers and estuaries in England and Wales was undertaken to establish environmental concentrations and to support a biological field programme. The analytes were quantified by GC/MS in MID mode after concentration onto C18 solid phase extraction columns. A concentration of 330 μg/l total nonylphenol was found in wastewaters from a sewage treatment works discharging into the river Aire, and up to 180 μg/l was measured at sites on the same river. Nonylphenol concentrations in the river Aire exceed Daphnia chronic effect levels and approach acute toxicity levels. Elsewhere, concentrations in rivers and sewage effluents were in the range <0.2−12 μ g/ l total nonylphenol and are below chronic effect levels. Estuarine concentrations were considerably lower. The highest concentrations were recorded in the outer Tees estuary (5.2 μg/l nonylphenol, 13 μg/l octylphenol) and in the Mersey estuary (up to 0.32 μg/l nonylphenol). Over 30% of the samples contained <0.1 μ g/ l total nonylphenol, and octylphenol was present only in the Tees.
Water Research – Elsevier
Published: Jul 1, 1995
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