Effective degradation of organophosphate ester flame retardants and plasticizers in coastal sediments under high urban pressure

Type Article
Date 2022-11
Language English
Author(s) Castro Jimenez JavierORCID1, Cuny P.2, Militon C.2, Sylvi L.2, Royer F.2, Papillon L.2, Sempere Richard2
Affiliation(s) 1 : IFREMER, Chemical Contamination of Marine Ecosystems (CCEM), Rue de l’Ile d’Yeu, BP 21105, 44311, Nantes Cedex 3, France
2 : Aix Marseille Univ., University of Toulon, CNRS, IRD, Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography (MIO) UM 110, Marseille, France
Source Scientific Reports (2045-2322) (Nature Research), 2022-11 , Vol. 12 , N. 1 , P. 20228 (10p.)
DOI 10.1038/s41598-022-24685-6

Empirical evidence of the effective degradation at environmentally relevant conditions of organophosphate esters (OPEs) flame retardants and plasticizers in coastal sediments from an impacted area in the NW Mediterranean Sea is provided. Half-lives varied from 23.3 to 77.0 (abiotic conditions) and from 16.8 to 46.8 days (biotic conditions), depending on the compound, highlighting the relevant role of microbial assemblages enhancing OPE degradation. After an immediate significant reduction of the bacterial abundance due to OPE addition to the sediment at the very beginning of the experiment, the observed biodegradation was associated to a general stimulation of the growth of the bacterial community during a first period, but without a marked change of the structure of the community. However, OPE contamination induced a decrease on the diversity of the bacterial community in the coastal sediment, noticeable after 14 days of incubation. It is likely that on one side the contamination had favoured the growth of some bacterial groups maybe involved in the biodegradation of these compounds but, on the other side, had also impacted some sensitive bacteria. The estimated half-lives fill a data gap concerning OPE degradation rates in marine sediments and will be valuable data for the refinement of OPE chemical risk assessment in marine environments, particularly on impacted sites.

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