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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Alkylphenol and Alkylphenol-Ethoxylates in Carp, Water and Sediment from Cuyahoga River, Ohio

Authors
item Rice, Clifford
item Schmitz-Afonso, Isabelle - USDA/FAS
item Loyo-Rosales, Jorge - UNIV. OF MARYLAND
item Link, E - OHIO EPA
item Thoma, M - OHIO EPA
item Fay, E - OHIO EPA
item Altfater, D - OHIO EPA
item Camp, Mary

Submitted to: Environmental Science and Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 5, 2003
Publication Date: September 1, 2003
Citation: Rice, C., Schmitz-Afonso, I., Loyo-Rosales, J., Link, E., Thoma, M., Fay, E., Altfater, D., Camp, M.J. 2003. Alkylphenol and alkylphenol-ethoxylates in carp, water and sediment from Cuyahoga River, Ohio. Environmental Science and Technology. 37:3747-3754.

Interpretive Summary: The widespread occurrence of alkylphenols, octyl- and nonylphenol especially, in the environment has begun to concern environmental managers in the United States. Data are lacking especially on the extent of their accumulation in fish in US waters. The occurrence of alkylphenol and alkylphenol ethoxylates was determined over an 75-mile length of the Cuyahoga River, Ohio. Measurable levels of both the octyl and nonyl forms of these abundantly used nonionic surfactants were observed with the nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs), typically accounting for greater than 90% of the total APEs in each sample. For all media (water, fish, and sediment), nonylphenol ethoxylate (NPE) concentrations increased in a downstream direction, with maximum water and fish values observed near the discharge of the Akron Waste Water Treatment Plant. The maximum concentrations in sediment were observed near Cleveland where the river exits into Lake Erie. This information will be useful to scientists and to policy makers who are examining the environmental fate of the compounds.

Technical Abstract: The occurrence of alkylphenol and alkylphenol ethoxylates was determined over a 75-mile length of the Cuyahoga River, Ohio. Measurable levels of both the octyl and nonyl forms of these abundantly used nonionic surfactants were observed with the nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) typically accounting for greater than 90% of the total APEs in each sample. For all media (water, fish, and sediment) nonylphenol ethoxylate (NPE) concentrations increased in a downstream direction, with maximum water and fish values observed near the discharge of the Akron WWTP and the sediment maxima near Cleveland, where the river exits into Lake Erie. The ranges in concentration for total NPEs and their ethoxylate makeup were as follows: 32 to 920 ug/kg wet wt. (NP 0 to 2 EO) for carp; 0.13 to 1.0 ug/L (NP 0 to 3 EO) for water; and 250 to 1020 ug/kg dry wt. (NP 0 to 5 EO) for sediment. When the higher ethoxymers (NP 6 to 17 EO) were added to these, the average total estimated NPE concentration for sediments was 1.3 to 1.8 times higher.

Last Modified: 11/27/2014