Tri-n-butyl phosphate (TBP) is widely used in various industrial processes and has been detected in all environmental matrices. So far, little work has been done regarding the metabolism of TBP on terrestrial invertebrates. We investigated the metabolism of TBP in the earthworm, Perionyx excavatus, after acute exposure to TBP for one and two days in filter paper contact test, as well as after chronic exposure for 28 days in soil experiment. Biotransformation products were identified by using liquid chromatography coupled with quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry, and by exploiting the information dependent acquisition in tandem mass spectrometry. TBP exhibited low accumulation in earthworm-soil ecosystem at 10 mg/kg and 50 mg/kg. The presence of earthworms significantly enhanced TBP degradation at 50 mg/kg in soil. Dibutyl phosphate and hydroxylated TBP were the major phase I metabolites. Three novel phase II metabolites were identified: ethanol dibutyl phosphate and its sulfate conjugate, and the phosphate conjugate of hydroxylated TBP. Hydroxylation and further phosphorylation dominated metabolism in chronic exposure. An extensive metabolic pathway of TBP in earthworm was proposed. This is the first report of TBP metabolism in terrestrial invertebrates and highlights the necessity to identify metabolites of contaminants when evaluating their bioaccumulation and toxicity.
Environmental Pollution – Elsevier
Published: Mar 1, 2018
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