Understanding and addressing the planetary crisis of chemicals and plastics.

Carney Almroth, B.; Cornell, S.E.; Diamond, M.L.; de Wit, C.A.; Fantke, P.; Wang, Z.
2022 | One Earth 5 (1070-1074)

Influences of climate change on long-term time series of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in Arctic and Antarctic biota.

Vorkamp,K.; Carlsson, P.; Corsolini, S.; de Wit, C.A.; Dietz, R.; Gribble, M.O.; Houde, M.; Kalia, V.; Letcher, R.J.; Morris, A.; Rigét, F.F.; Routti, H.; Muir, D.C.G.
2022 | Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts | 24 (1643)

Response to comment on “Outside the safe operating space of the planetary boundary for novel entities”.

Persson, L.; Carney Almroth, B.; Collins, C.; Cornell, S.E.; de Wit, C.A.; Diamond, M.L.; Fantke, P.; Hassellöv, M.; MacLeod, M.; Ryberg, M.; Søgaard Jørgensen, P.; Villarrubia-Gómez, P.; Wang, Z.; Hauschild, M.Z.
2022 | Environ. Sci. Technol. | 56 (6788)

Influence of climate change on Persistent Organic Pollutants and Chemicals of Emerging Concern in the Arctic: State of knowledge and recommendations for future research.

de Wit, C.A.; Vorkamp, K.; Muir, D.
2022 | Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts | 24 (1530-1543)

Outside the safe operating space of the planetary boundary for novel entities.

Persson, L.; Carney Almroth, B.; Collins, C.; Cornell, S.E.; de Wit, C.A.; Diamond, M.L.; Fantke, P.; Hassellöv, M.; MacLeod, M.; Ryberg, M.; Søgaard Jørgensen, P.; Villarrubia-Gómez, P.; Wang, Z.; Hauschild, M.Z.
2022 | Environ. Sci. Technol. | 56 (1510-1521)

Identifying emerging environmental concerns from long-chain chlorinated paraffins towards German ecosystems

Yuan, B; Rudel, H; de Wit, CA; Koschorreck, J
2022 | J. Hazard. Mater. | 424
bioaccumulation , dust , ecosystems , fish , german , halogenated flame retardants , long-chain chlorinated paraffins , need , pbdes , pcbs , plant , samples , surface soils , temporal trends
Germany is one of several major European producers of chlorinated paraffins (CPs). This study showed that not only the legacy short-chain products (SCCPs, C10-13), but also the current-use medium- and long-chain products (MCCPs, C14-17; LCCPs, C 17) as well as the very-short-chain impurities (vSCCPs, C<10) are ubiquitous in the 72 samples collected from the coastal, terrestrial, and freshwater ecosystems across the country. The concentrations of LCCPs surpassed those of the other CPs in 40% of the biota samples. Archived bream samples collected downstream of a CP-manufacturing factory showed decreasing temporal trends of (v)SCCPs and relatively constant levels of MCCPs from 1995 to 2019; however, the overall levels of LCCPs have increased by 290%, reflecting the impact of chemical regulation policies on changes in CP production. A visualization algorithm was developed for integrating CP results from various matrices to illustrate spatial tendencies of CP pollution. Higher levels of (v)SCCPs were indicated in the former West Germany region, while MCCP and LCCP concentrations did not seem to differ between former East and West Germany, suggesting relatively equal production and use of these chemicals after the German Reunification. The results provide an early warning signal of environmental concerns from LCCPs on the eve of their booming global production and use.

Relationships between gene transcription and contaminant concentrations in Baltic ringed seals: A comparison between tissue matrices

Boyi, JO; Stokholm, I; Hillmann, M; Sondergaard, J; Persson, S; de Wit, CA; Siebert, U; Kristina, L
2022 | Aquat. Toxicol. | 242
ecotoxicology , halichoerus-grypus , harbor seals , messenger-rna expression , molecular biomarkers , mrna transcript , multi-tissue , persistent organic pollutants , phoca-hispida , polybrominated diphenyl ethers , polychlorinated biphenyls , porpoises phocoena-phocoena , pusa hispida , thyroid-stimulating hormone , vitamin-a , wildlife health
Ringed seals (Pusa hispida) are slowly recovering in the eastern and northern parts of the Baltic Sea after years of hunting pressure and contaminant exposure. Still, consequences of anthropogenic activities such as contaminant exposure and increasing temperatures are stressors that continue to have deleterious effects on their habitat and health. Transcription profiles of seven health-related genes involved in xenobiotic metabolism, endocrine disruption and stress were evaluated in blood, blubber, and liver of Baltic ringed seals in a multi-tissue approach. Selected persistent organic pollutants and total mercury concentrations were measured in blubber and liver, and muscle and liver of these animals, respectively. Concentrations of contaminants varied across tissues on a lipid weight basis but not with sex. mRNA transcript levels for all seven target genes did not vary between sexes or age classes. Transcript levels of thyroid hormone receptor alpha (TR alpha), retinoic acid receptor alpha (RAR alpha) and heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) correlated with levels of persistent organic pollutants. TR alpha transcript levels also correlated positively with mercury concentrations in the liver. Of the three tissues assessed in this multi-tissue approach, blubber showed highest transcription levels of aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator (ARNT), thyroid stimulating hormone receptor beta (TSH beta), oestrogen receptor alpha (ESR1) and peroxisome proliferator activated receptor alpha (PPAR alpha). The wide range of genes expressed highlights the value of minimally invasive sampling (e.g. biopsies) for assessing health endpoints in free-ranging marine wildlife and the importance of identifying optimal matrices for targeted gene expression studies. This gene transcript profile study has provided baseline information on transcript levels of biomarkers for early on-set health effects in ringed seals and will be a useful guide to assess the impacts of environmental change in Baltic pinnipeds for conservation and management.

The Baltic Sea: an ecosystem with multiple stressors.

Dietz, R.; Sonne, C.; Jenssen, B.M.; Das, K.; de Wit, C.A.; Harding, K.; Siebert, U.; Olsen M.T.
2021 | Environ Int | 147 (106324-(1-5))

Human Exposure to Chlorinated Paraffins via Inhalation and Dust Ingestion in a Norwegian Cohort

Yuan B.; Tay, J.H.; Papadopoulou, E.; Haug, L.S.; Padilla-Sánchez, J.A.; de Wit, C.A.
2021 | Environ. Sci. Technol. | 55 (1145-1154)

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in fish species from different lakes of the lesser Himalayan region (LHR), Pakistan: The influence of proximal sources in distribution of POPs

Riaz, R; de Wit, CA; Malik, RN
2021 | Sci. Total Environ. | 760
bioaccumulation , brominated flame retardants , dechloran plus dp , dietary proxies (delta n-15 and delta c-13) , dioxin-like pcbs , feeding regimes , fresh-water fish , kohonen self-organizing maps , long range transport , organochlorine pesticides ocps , polybrominated diphenyl ethers , polychlorinated-biphenyls pcbs , polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons , tibetan plateau , toxic equivalency factors , trophic position
Fish dwelling in remote mountain water systems are sensitive to long term exposure of POPs and can be used as an important bioindicator of POPs pollution in fragile mountain ecosystems. Current study aimed to investigate the concentrations and patterns of organic pollutants in fish tissues from different lakes of the Lesser Himalayan Region (LHR). OCPs, PCBs, PBDEs were analyzed in four common edible fish species of the LHR: Oncorhynchus mykiss, Labeo rohita, Hypophthalmichthys molitrix and Orechromis aureus. The fish were collected from lakes with different types of catchment areas (glacial, non-glacial mountain region and urban region) and extent of anthropogenic influence. The levels OCPs, PCBs and PBDEs analyzed in the selected fish species were in range of 0.21-587, 6.4-138 and 1.2-14 ng g(-1) lw, respectively. The SDDTs, higher chlorinated PCBs, tetra- and pentaBDEs were more prevalent in urban and remote lakes whereas pp'-DDE, lower chlorinated PCBs and BDE-47 and -99 were predominant in fish species from glacial lakes. SDDTs, SPCBs and SPBDEs showed statistically significant differences (p < 0.05) among species, trophic guilds (carnivore, herbivore and omnivore) and feeding regimes (surface, bottom and column feeder) and SHCH showed a significant difference only among trophic guilds. The stable isotope values of delta N-15 and delta C-13 differed significantly among species for SSHCH, SPCBs, SPBDEs (p < 0.05) and SDDT (p < 0.01). The range of delta C-13 values (-34 to-19%) indicated the importance of littoral and pelagic sources of dietary carbon. Trophic position and dietary proxieswere identified as important variables for explaining the variability of the studied compounds. Kohonen self-organizing maps (SOM) showed that in addition to trophic position and other physiological characteristics of fish, that the type of lakes and proximal sources of POPswere the most important predictors for distribution of organic contaminants in fish samples from LHR. (C)2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Can determination of extractable organofluorine (EOF) be standardized? First interlaboratory comparisons of EOF and fluorine mass balance in sludge and water matrices

Karrman, A; Yeung, LWY; Spaan, KM; Lange, FT; Nguyen, MA; Plassmann, M; De Wit, CA; Scheurer, M; Awad, R; Benskin, JP
2021 | Environ. Sci.-Process Impacts | 23 (10) (1458-1465)
combustion ion chromatography , organic fluorine , perfluoroalkyl substances , polyfluoroalkyl substances , precursors , samples
The high proportion of unidentified extractable organofluorine (EOF) observed globally in humans and the environment indicates widespread occurrence of unknown per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). However, efforts to standardize or assess the reproducibility of EOF methods are currently lacking. Here we present the first EOF interlaboratory comparison in water and sludge. Three participants (four organizations) analyzed unfortified and PFAS-fortified ultrapure water, two unfortified groundwater samples, unfortified wastewater treatment plant effluent and sludge, and an unfortified groundwater extract. Participants adopted common sample handling strategies and target lists for EOF mass balance but used in-house combustion ion-chromatography (CIC) and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) methods. EOF accuracy ranged from 85-101% and 76-109% for the 60 and 334 ng L-1 fluorine (F) - fortified water samples, respectively, with between-laboratory variation of 9-19%, and within-laboratory variation of 3-27%. In unfortified sludge and aqueous samples, between-laboratory variation ranged from 21-37%. The contribution from sum concentrations of 16 individual PFAS ( n-ary sumation PFAS-16) to EOF ranged from 2.2-60% but extended analysis showed that other targets were prevalent, in particular ultra-short-chain perfluoroalkyl acids (e.g. trifluoroacetic acid) in aqueous samples and perfluoroalkyl acid-precursors (e.g. polyfluoroalkyl phosphate diesters) in sludge. The EOF-CIC method demonstrated promising accuracy, robustness and reporting limits but poor extraction efficiency was observed for some targets (e.g. trifluoroacetic acid).

Long-Chain Chlorinated Paraffins Have Reached the Arctic

Yuan, B; McLachlan, MS; Roos, AM; Simon, M; Strid, A; de Wit, CA
2021 | Environ. Sci. Technol. Lett. | 8 (9) (753-759)
bioaccumulation , emission , fate , pcbs , persistent organic pollutants , range transport , stockholm convention , temporal trends , tissue distribution , transformation
Chlorinated paraffins (CPs) were analyzed in marine wildlife from Greenland, Iceland, and the Swedish west coast. CPs up to C-29 were detected in the samples from the Arctic, indicating long-range transport of an industrial chemical group with a 2-million-ton annual production volume. CP concentrations were generally higher in biota from the Swedish west coast. The Sweden/Arctic concentration ratios for very-short-chain (vSCCPs, C-<10), short-chain (SCCPs, C10-13), medium-chain (MCCPs, C14-17), and long-chain CPs (LCCPs, C->17) in cetacean and bivalve species were in the range of 3.6-150, 5-29, 3-11, and 11-450, respectively. For the first time, fetal accumulation of four CP classes was found, whereby concentrations were 3.4 to 4.5 times lower in the fetus relative to the pregnant female minke whale. Cetacean blubber contained a higher proportion of higher chlorinated CPs compared to muscle tissue, while muscle contained higher lipid-normalized concentrations of longer chain CPs than blubber tissue. LCCPs predominated (52% of total CPs) in the muscle of a killer whale from Swedish waters, which is the first report where concentrations of LCCPs surpassed those of other CPs in marine mammals. This study shows that, like other CP classes, LCCPs are Arctic contaminants that may adversely affect biota in this remote region.

Contact information

Visiting addresses:

Geovetenskapens Hus,
Svante Arrhenius väg 8, Stockholm

Arrheniuslaboratoriet, Svante Arrhenius väg 16, Stockholm (Unit for Toxicological Chemistry)

Mailing address:
Department of Environmental Science
Stockholm University
106 91 Stockholm

Press enquiries should be directed to:

Stella Papadopoulou
Science Communicator
Phone +46 (0)8 674 70 11