Determination of Organic Contaminants in L´Albufera National Park Using Microporous Polyethylene Tube Passive Samplers: An Environmental Risk Assessment
30 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2023
L’Albufera National Park (Valencia, Spain) is a protected wetland of international significance that provides critical habitat to endemic and threatened bird and plant species. The aim of this study was to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment of a wide range of organic contaminants (OCs) in the wetlands and to identify compounds of concern and their potential sources and risk factors. Microporous polyethylene tube (MPT) passive samplers were deployed to monitor a wide range of polar and moderately polar contaminants at 12 locations across L’Albufera National Park with grab samples collected concurrently. A subset of MPT samplers were also analysed by an additional laboratory in Australia to widen the range of contaminants and assess interlaboratory reproducibility of results. 45 pesticides, 33 pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), 22 poly- and per-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and 7 organophosphorus flame retardants (OPFRs) were detected in L’Albufera. The fungicides tebuconazole (mean 75.4 ng sampler-1) and difenoconazole (mean 36.5 ng sampler-1) were detected at the highest concentrations in passive samplers. Several other pesticides and PFOS were detected in all locations (mean concentrations > 1 ng sampler-1). The compounds fenamiphos, propyzamide, difenoconazole, propiconazole, metsulfuron methyl, 6:6 PFPiA, 6:2 FTAB, 6:2 FTS, citalopram desmethyl and citalopram are reported in the wetland for the first time. Spatial distribution was studied by combining MPT data and geographical information systems (GIS), revealing higher pesticide concentrations in the North of L’Albufera. A risk quotient (RQ) analysis showed that ibuprofen is of concern in the area. Interlaboratory comparison results showed satisfactory agreement between the laboratories for most analytes. Overall, the MPT sampling approach shows promise as a risk assessment tool to better understand the transport and fate of OCs in protected areas.
Keywords: organic contaminants, passive samplers, surface water, Coastal Mediterranean Wetlands, geographical information system (GIS)
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