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Aquatic toxicity of mono- and diesters of o-phthalic acid
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Department of Water and Environmental Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Environment & Resources DTU, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The degradation of phthalic acid diesters may lead to formation of a-phthalic acid and phthalic acid monoesters. The ecotoxic properties of the monoesters have never been systematically investigated and concern has been raised that these degradation products may be more toxic than the diesters. Therefore, the aquatic toxicity of phthalic acid, 6 monoesters, and 5 diesters of a-phthalic acid was tested in three standardized toxicity tests using the bacteria Vibrio fischeri, the green algae Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata, and the crustacean Daphnia magna. The monoesters tested were monomethyl-, monoethyl-, monobutyl-, monobenzyl-, mono(2-ethylhexyl)-and monodecyl phthalate; while the diesters tested were dimethyl-, diethyl-, dibutyl-, butylbenzyl-, and di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate. The compounds were tested in concentrations below the water solubility and concentrations were confirmed by chemical analyses. The EC50-values for the three organisms ranged from 103 mg/L to >4710 mg/L for phthalic acid, and corresponding values for the monoesters ranged from 2.3 mg/L (monodecyl phthalate in bacteria test) to 4130 mg!L (monomethyl phtalate in bacteria test). Dhnethyl- and diethyl- phthalate were found to be the least toxic of the diesters (EC50 from 26.2-377 mg/L) and the toxicity of the other diesters (butylbenzyland dibutyl phthalate) ranged from 0.96 mg/L to 7.74 mg/L. In general, the phthalate monoesters (degradation products) were less toxic than the corresponding diesters (mother compounds).

Keyword [en]
Phthalates, phthalic acid monoesters, Daphnia magna, Pseudokirclmeriella subcapitata, Vibrio fischeri
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-80184OAI: diva2:546080
Available from: 2012-08-22 Created: 2012-08-22 Last updated: 2012-08-22Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Phthalates in landfill leachates: a signature of their degradation: Analytical aspects & toxicological considerations
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Phthalates in landfill leachates: a signature of their degradation: Analytical aspects & toxicological considerations
2003 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Phthalic acid diesters comprise a large group of organic compounds that are used to manufacture a variety of products all over the world, and this has raised concerns about the fate of these compounds in the environment. The diester-containing products often end up in landfills, where they are degraded by various micro-organisms, which gives rise to transient intermediates such as phthalic acid monoesters and ortho-phthalic acid. These degradation products escape detection when applying the analytical protocols used to investigate the well-elucidated diesters, hence other methods are needed.

In the present work, the temporal pattern of degradation was scrutinised by studying leachates from both laboratory-scale Iandfill simulation reactors and newly established fullscale landfill cells. Leachate samples from a transect downstream of a landfill were also examined to highlight possible groundwater contamination from unlined landfills. In addition, extraction techniques were developed for simultaneous detection of diesters, monoesters of o-phthalic acid, and o-phthalic acid itself.

The degradation products of phthalate diesters (i.e. the monoesters and phthalic acid) were found in the landfill leachates, which demonstrates proves that phthalic acid diesters are degraded/transformed in situ in landfills. The monoesters and phthalic acid may accumulate in leachates during certain parts of landfill degradation development, for example, during establishment of the methanogenic micro-flora. The phthalates leached from landfills are potential groundwater contaminants, whereas breakdown of the diesters and monoesters was observed in the studied Iandfill plume. The monoesters and phthalic acid could be detected by proper acidification of the samples and derivatization of the extracts, followed by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. Acute toxicity tests showed that the monoesters were generally less toxic than the corresponding diesters, and that phthalic acid was the least toxic. These results suggest that degradation of the diesters to monoesters and phthalic acidwill reduce the risk for acute toxic effects on the environment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet, 2003. 66 p.
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 268
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-29573 (URN)14948 (Local ID)91-7373-588-4 (ISBN)14948 (Archive number)14948 (OAI)
Public defence
2003-01-31, Sal Elysion, Hus-T, Universitetssjukhuset, Linköping, 10:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2009-10-09 Created: 2009-10-09 Last updated: 2014-09-01Bibliographically approved

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Jonsson, Susanne
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Department of Water and Environmental StudiesFaculty of Arts and Sciences
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