Occurrence and distribution pattern of alkylphenol ethoxylates and brominated flame retardants in sediment samples from Vaal River, South Africa.

15 Mar 2017

High environmental concentrations for alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs) and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) have been observed near cities than in rural environment. This is due, in part, to sewage systems receiving effluents from many industrial processes along with domestic wastewater. While these classes of compounds are being phased out in most developed countries, there is still widespread use in low to middle income countries. To better understand the extent of APEs and BFRs contamination in the environment, this study reports on the concentration and distribution of APEs and BFRs in sediments samples collected from Vaal River, South Africa. Measurable concentrations of these contaminants were obtained using GC?MS after heptafluorobutyric derivatization. The concentrations range (ng g?1) for these pollutants were as follows: nd?46, 20?127, 24?38, 3?5, 14?28, 16?54 for octylphenol penta ethoxylates, nonylphenol ethoxylates (mono- di), nonylphenol penta ethoxylates, PBB101, PBDEs, and HBCD; respectively. The distribution observed in this study indicated higher levels of sediment contamination by APEs relative to BFRs. These results underline the need to further investigate the burden and risks associated with chemical contamination in developing countries.