Occurrences, levels and risk assessment studies of emergingpollutants (pharmaceuticals, perfluoroalkyl and endocrine disruptingcompounds) infish samples from Kalk Bay harbour, South Africa
Ojemaye, Cecilia. Y.
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A comprehensive analysis of 15 target chemical compounds (pharmaceuticals and personal care product,perfluoroalkyl compounds and industrial chemicals) were carried out to determine their concentrationsin selected commercially exploited, wild caught small and medium sized pelagicfish species and theirorgans (Thyrsites atun(snoek), Sarda orientalis(bonito), Pachymetopon blochii(panga) andPterogymnuslaniarius(hottentot)) obtained from Kalk Bay harbour, Cape Town. Solid phase extraction (SPE) methodbased on Oasis HLB cartridges were used to concentrate and clean-up the samples. Liquidchromatographyemass spectrometry analysis of these chemical compounds revealed the simultaneouspresence of at least 12 compounds in different parts of the selectedfish species in nanogram-per-gramdry weight (ng/g dw) concentrations. The results revealed that perfluorodecanoic acid, per-fluorononanoic acid and perfluoroheptanoic acid were the most predominant among the perfluorinatedcompounds and ranged between: (20.13e179.2 ng/g), (21.22e114.0 ng/g) and (40.06e138.3 ng/g). Also,diclofenac had the highest concentration in these ediblefish species out of all the pharmaceuticalsdetected (range: 551.8e1812 ng/g). The risk assessment values were above 0.5 and 1.0 for acute andchronic risk respectively which shows that these chemicals have a high health risk to the pelagicfish,aquatic organisms and to humans who consume them. Therefore, there is an urgent need for a pre-cautionary approach and the adequate regulation of the use and disposal of synthetic chemicals thatpersist in aquatic/marine environment in this province and other parts of South Africa, to prevent im-pacts on the sustainability of our marine environment, livelihood and lives.