This baseline study evaluated the ecological risk associated with the concentration of six common Phthalate esters (PAEs) in sediment samples collected from the U-Tapao canal in Southern Thailand. Deterministic approaches consisting of standard sediment quality guidelines (SQGs) and Risk quotient (RQ) were used to evaluate the potential ecological risk of individuals and a mixture of Phthalate esters (PAEs) detected in sediment samples. Of the 6 PAEs measured, only three, including di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP), di-2-ethyl hexyl phthalate (DEHP) and di-isononyl phthalate (DiNP), were identified and quantified. The total concentration of the 3 PAEs congeners found in the sediment samples ranged from 190 to 2010 ng/g dw. The results from the SQGs and RQ were not consistent with each other. The SQGs results for individual PAEs showed that DEHP and DBP found in sediment was estimated to cause moderate risk on benthic organisms, DiNP was not estimated due to lack of SQGs data. However, the RQ method indicated a low risk of DEHP and DBP on algae, crustacean and fish, whereas DiNP poses no risk on crustacean. Furthermore, based on the result obtained in this study, the consensus SQGs for mixture effects prove to be a more protective tool than the RQ concentration addition approach in predicting mixture effects. Despite inevitable uncertainties, the integration of several screening approaches of ecological risk assessment (ERA) can help get a more inclusive and credible result of the first tier of individuals and a mixture of these pollutants.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited