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Stewart M.,NIWA - National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research | Olsen G.,NIWA - National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research | Hickey C.W.,NIWA - National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research | Ferreira B.,CSIC - Institute of Environmental Assessment And Water Research | And 5 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2013

Increasing urbanisation in the future will put mounting stresses on the receiving environments around those urban centres due to increased sedimentation and contaminant runoff. Emerging contaminants (ECs) are an extensive array of chemicals and many are not under regulatory action. Within New Zealand likely future pressures from ECs will be in both urban centres and rural areas due to intensive agriculture, although at present there is a lack of information on the state of the environment in both sectors. This study was initiated to gauge the distribution of ECs in the urban environment by measuring concentrations of flame retardants, plasticisers, alkylphenols, herbicides and pesticides, steroid oestrogens, pharmaceuticals and heavy metals in sediment from 13 estuarine sites around Auckland, New Zealand's biggest city. Total polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardant concentrations (7σPBDE) ranged from 0.55 to 573ng/g (dw). The phthalate plasticiser di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) was measured at up to 11,500ng/g from one site. Nonylphenol (NP) was found at up to 32,000ng/g at one site adjacent to the city's major wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). However, median concentrations of NP were 153ng/g, suggesting this site was not representative of the region. Nonylphenol mono- and di-ethoxylates (NPEO1,2) had highest concentrations (1600ng/g) at a marina. Highest glyphosate concentrations (up to 950ng/g) were observed at residential sites. Steroid oestrogens were detected at extremely low concentrations (maximum 2.2ng/g), while all other pesticides or herbicides were not detected at any sites. Multi-residue analysis of 46 pharmaceuticals showed presence of 21 compounds at one or more sites, with average concentrations ranging from 0.16 to 7.66ng/g. Generally, environmental concentrations of ECs were similar to those reported world-wide. However, comparisons for pharmaceuticals were problematic, due to very few studies on pharmaceutical concentrations in estuarine sediments, with most focussed on sewage and stream water phases. © 2013.

Lopez Teijon M.,Instituto Marques | Barcelo D.,Institute Diagnostico Ambiental y Estudios del Agua IDAEA | Barcelo D.,Institute Catala Of Recerca Of Laigua Icra | Farre M.,Institute Diagnostico Ambiental y Estudios del Agua IDAEA | And 3 more authors.
Revista Internacional de Andrologia | Year: 2011

The relationship between residential exposure to endocrine disruptor compounds (EDCs) during fetal and perinatal life and the increase in the rate of oligospermia has not been well characterized yet. This study investigates this potential association by comparing the levels of EDCs in breast milk of lactating women with the rate of oligospermia previously reported in two regions of Spain with marked differences in industrial development. Thirty-eight EDCs were evaluated in 69 breast milk samples from women from Catalonia (n = 34) and Galicia (n = 35). The analyses were performed by gas chromatography electron ionization - mass spectrometry (GC-EI-MS), and liquid chromatography-quadrupole-linear ion trap-tandem (LC-QqLIT MS). The average concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls, organo chlorinated pesticides, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers in breast milk samples from Catalonia and Galicia were respectively 13, 5 and 0,3. ng/g, and 3, 2,5 and < 0,1. ng/g of fat. In conclusion, the concentration of endocrine disruptor compounds in breast milk correlated with the rate of oligospermia in these regions and provides additional support to the hypothesis that exposure to EDCs during fetal and perinatal life could lead to male infertility. © 2011 Sociedad Española de Andrología.

Mas-Pla J.,Institute Catala Of Recerca Of Laigua Icra | Mas-Pla J.,University of Girona | Mencio A.,University of Girona | Bach J.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | And 3 more authors.
Water, Air, and Soil Pollution | Year: 2016

Trace elements appear in natural waters as a result of rock weathering and human activities. Their occurrence is governed by a complex set of geochemical conditions which finally may induce trace element concentrations above health standards. In regional, large-scale aquifers, their presence is representative of the hydrogeological setting of the overall flow path from the recharge zone to the sampling well. In this study, we analyze hydrochemical, including major components and trace elements (Al, As, B, Ba, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Hg, Mn, Ni, Sb, Sn, Sr, Pb, Zn), and stable isotopic data from exploitation wells in the Empordà basin (NE Spain). Our goal is to explore the hydrogeological meaning of trace elements as a means to contribute to the understanding of the regional flow dynamics as an initial step to face trace element pollution events. Groundwater data is hence described in the context of each aquifer relating the major hydrochemical facies with their accompanying trace elements. Results point out some expected geochemical relationships as well as some trace element associations that cannot be envisaged from the usual incomplete lithological information of the aquifer. Multivariate statistical analysis, as PCA, provides complementary information about geochemical processes (loadings) and regional occurrence (scores). Such statistical information can be taken as indicative of potential health hazard associated to trace element in groundwater. From a management perspective, such analysis points out which elements should a priori be considered for analysis according to the geological formation that holds the water supply well. © 2016, Springer International Publishing Switzerland.

Farre M.,CSIC - Institute of Environmental Assessment And Water Research | Perez S.,CSIC - Institute of Environmental Assessment And Water Research | Gajda-Schrantz K.,University of Szeged | Osorio V.,CSIC - Institute of Environmental Assessment And Water Research | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Hydrology | Year: 2010

The increasing use and production of carbon-based nanoparticles demands for new analytical approaches able to achieve sensitivities in the low ng/L range in order to assess their presence in environmental samples. This paper describes development, optimization and validation of a novel method for the analysis of C60 and, C70 fullerenes and N-methylfulleropyrrolidine C60 in the environment. The method relies on ultrasonication extraction from suspended solids in wastewater, followed by liquid chromatography (LC) coupled to a hybrid triple quadrupole linear ion trap mass spectrometry (QqLIT-MS) for trace quantification. Recoveries obtained were generally higher than 60% for both surface water and wastewaters. The overall variability of the method was below 15%, for the three fullerenes and all tested matrices: ultra-pure water, surface water and wastewater. For the effluents of wastewater treatment plants the method quantification limits (MQL) ranged from 0.2 to 1 ng/L. The precision of the method, calculated as relative standard deviation (RSD), ranged from 1% to 2% and from 5% to 9% for intra and inter-day analysis, respectively. The developed analytical method was applied to the analysis of fullerenes in the effluents of 22 wastewater treatment plants in Catalonia (NE of Spain). 50% of the analyzed samples contained fullerenes, nine of them in the μg/L concentration range. This work constitutes the first report on the occurrence of fullerenes in suspended solids of wastewater effluents highlighting the need of nanotechnologies residues assessment for risk evaluation of nanoparticles in the environment. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Sanpera-Calbet I.,University of Barcelona | Ylla I.,University of Girona | Romani A.M.,University of Girona | Sabater S.,University of Girona | And 2 more authors.
Aquatic Sciences | Year: 2016

We studied biochemical changes in biofilm and suspended particulate and dissolved organic matter (OM) during the leaf emergence period (March–May 2008) in a forested headwater stream in response to a long-term (4 years, 2004–2008) experimental nutrient enrichment study. This study compared results from one reach upstream of the enrichment point and one reach downstream using moderate nutrient concentrations (nitrogen, N, from 388 to 765 μg L−1 and phosphorus, P, from 10 to 30 μg L−1, resulting in N:P ratios of 85–56). During the spring of 2008, we analysed the chlorophyll content, elemental composition (carbon, C, and N), bacterial density, and extracellular enzyme activities along with their biochemical composition (amino acids, fatty acids and sterols) on biofilm and OM. Nutrients caused changes in the biochemical composition of the biofilm, while changes in the OM were subtle. The C:N ratio of the biofilm decreased with nutrient enrichment likely due to the increase in protein (non-essential amino acids). The polysaccharide and total and essential fatty acid contents were higher when nutrient enrichment coincided with greater light availability. The peptidase extracellular activity was higher in the fertilised reach at early spring, while phosphatase activity decreased at late spring. The suspended and dissolved OM composition did not change due to the nutrient addition, likely due to the lower water residence time in the reach. Headwater systems are highly dynamic, and the biochemical composition of the biofilm changed in response to changes in nutrients but also to light in this study. These changes, although moderate, could influence higher trophic levels through modifications in their diet. This experiment exemplifies how small land use shifts may affect headwater streams. © 2016 Springer International Publishing

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