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Estrogenic alkylphenols in fish tissues, sediments, and waters from the U.K. Tyne and Tees estuaries

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Christina Lye, Professor Christopher Frid, Dr Margaret Gill, Dr Martin Jones


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Nonylphenols and related compounds are common products of biodegradation of a large group of nonionic surfactants, the nonylphenol polyethoxylates. Many of these compounds are known to be environmentally persistent and to elicit estrogenic response in both mammals and fish. In this study, nonylphenol (NP), nonylphenol monoethoxylate (NP1EO), and octylphenol (OP) were found in tissues of mature male flounder, Platichthys flesus (5-55 ng/g NP, 190-940 ng/g NP1EO, wet weight), and in tissues of juvenile flounder (30- 180 ng/g NP, wet weight). These fish also showed detectable levels of the yolk protein vitellogenin in their plasma, indicative of estrogenic exposure. The compounds were also found in discharges from a major sewage treatment works (3000 ng/L NP, 45 000 ng/L NP1EO) and in sediments from two estuaries in north-east England; the highest levels from the highly industrialized Tees (1600-9050 ng/g NP, 125-3970 ng/g NP1EO, 30-340 ng/g OP, dryweight) and lower levels from the industrialized/urbanised Tyne estuary (30-80 ng/g NP, 160- 1400 ng/g NP1EO, 2-20 ng/g OP dry weight). The implications of these findings for fish populations are discussed.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Lye CM, Frid CLJ, Gill ME, Cooper DW, Jones DM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Environmental Science and Technology

Year: 1999

Volume: 33

Issue: 7

Pages: 1009-1014

Print publication date: 26/02/1999

ISSN (print): 0013-936X

ISSN (electronic): 1520-5851

Publisher: American Chemical Society


DOI: 10.1021/es980782k


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