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Characterisation of microcontaminants in Darwin Harbour, a tropical estuary of northern Australia undergoing rapid development

French, Veronica A., King, Susan C., Kumar, Anu, Northcott, Grant, McGuinness, Keith A. and Parry, David L. (2015). Characterisation of microcontaminants in Darwin Harbour, a tropical estuary of northern Australia undergoing rapid development. Science of the Total Environment,536(December):639-647.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID 84376995xPUB239
Title Characterisation of microcontaminants in Darwin Harbour, a tropical estuary of northern Australia undergoing rapid development
Author French, Veronica A.
King, Susan C.
Kumar, Anu
Northcott, Grant
McGuinness, Keith A.
Parry, David L.
Journal Name Science of the Total Environment
Publication Date 2015
Volume Number 536
Issue Number December
ISSN 0048-9697   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84940039315
Start Page 639
End Page 647
Total Pages 9
Place of Publication Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier BV
Field of Research ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract The detection of microcontaminants in aquatic environments raises concerns about their potential to exert ecotoxicological effects and impact human health. In contrast to freshwater habitats, little information is available on environmental concentrations in urban estuarine and marine environments. This study investigated an extensive range of organic and inorganic microcontaminants in the Darwin Harbour catchment, a tropical estuary in northern Australia undergoing rapid urbanisation and industrial development. We sampled wastewater effluent and surface water from seven sites in Darwin Harbour for pharmaceuticals and personal care products, alkylphenols, hormones, pesticides, herbicides and metals. In vitro bioassays were used to estimate the (anti)estrogenic and (anti)androgenic activities of samples. Seventy-nine of 229 organic microcontaminants analysed were detected at concentrations ranging from 0.01 to 20 μg/L, with acesulfame, paracetamol, cholesterol, caffeine, DEET and iopromide detected at the highest concentrations in wastewater effluent (20 μg/L, 17 μg/L, 11 μg/L, 11 μg/L, 10 μg/L and 7.6 μg/L, respectively). Levels of estrogenic activity ranged from estradiol equivalency quotients (EEQs) of < 0.10 to 6.29 ± 0.16 ng/L while levels of androgenic activity ranged from dihydrotestosterone equivalency quotients (DHTEQs) of < 3.50 to 138.23 ± 3.71 ng/L. Environmental concentrations of organic microcontaminants were comparable to ranges reported from aquatic environments worldwide with sewage effluent discharges representing the dominant source of entry into Darwin Harbour. The measured concentration range of DEET was higher than ranges reported in previous studies.
Keywords Wastewater
Metals
Yeast estrogen screen
Yeast androgen screen
Pharmaceuticals
Emerging contaminants
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.07.114   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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