WHICH CHEMICALS ARE IN OUR BLACK SEA AND ITS INHABITANTS: BLACK SEA SPECIFIC CONTAMINANTS LIST IS DEFINED
- October 25, 2021
During different phases of the EMBLAS project the samples of sea water, sediments and biota (fish, molluscs) obtained in 2016, 2017 and 2019 were screened for several thousands of organic pollutants and their transformation products by wide-scope target (>2,300 substances) and suspect (>65,000 substances) screening techniques. Substances detected in the samples were prioritised in terms of their frequency of detection in the samples and ecotoxicological properties.
Which substances were identified?
Water: 17 ‘ready for regulatory monitoring’ substances:
• 1 plasticiser dibutyl phthalate, which has the highest risk score among all; at present, it is banned in all toys and childcare articles as well as in cosmetics, including nail polish as it is considered to be carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction;
• 3 worldwide banned substances, including 2,2′,3,4,4′,5′-hexachlorobiphenyl (isolator); and two pentochlorobiphenyls (PCBs);
• 6 carcinogenic polyaromatic hydrocarbons;
• 1 flame retardant;
• 1 antidepressant carbamazepine;
• 4 pesticides;
• 1 stimulator – caffeine.
Biota: 75 substances:
• hydrophobic substances, mainly flame retardants and polychlorinated biphenyls, the latter being highly toxic industrial compounds banned several decades ago;
• metals (including mercury, whose concentration levels exceeded the EQS value in 60% of the analyzed samples);
• organochlorine pesticides (transformation products (TPs) of DDT, hexachlorobenzene),
• dioxins and dioxin-like compounds;
• perfluorinated compounds (including PFOS), present in stain-resistant carpet, water-repellent clothes, paper and cardboard packaging, ski wax, and foams used to fight fires and are very toxic for the humans;
• residues of pesticides, pharmaceuticals, personal care products and their TPs.
Bottom sediments: 22 substances
Eight of them metals, plasticizers, PAHs, pesticides incl. chlorpyriphos and endothall (aquatic herbicide).
These parameters were proposed to be included in the official national monitoring programme of Ukraine as the Black Sea Specific Contaminants The logistical and laboratory capacities are being developed to monitor them on a regular basis w