Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

No. 54: Screening of phenols in marine biota

Lassen, P. 2013. Screening af phenoler i marint biota. Aarhus Universitet, DCE – Nationalt Center for Miljø og Energi, 24 s. - Videnskabelig rapport fra DCE - Nationalt Center for Miljø og Energi nr. 54


In a screening project of alkylphenols in the environment under the Nordic Council of Ministers there were found high concentrations for some of the investigated phenols in marine biota. This resulted in an extended screening investigation in Denmark. In the present investigation 16 mussel samples from Danish marine waters were measured for phenols. Additional blind and control samples were analysed for documentation of the analytical quality.

The uncertainties of the measurements were in the range of 25-50% for the single components except for 2,6-di-tert-butylphenol, bisphenol-A and methylated-TBBPA where the uncertainty were around 100%. However, the number of control samples was not high enough to perform a robust statistical analysis. It was not possible to report data for 4-butyphenol and dodecylphenol due to high blind values and interference.

The concentrations of the phenols in the mussel samples ranged between detections limits and 100 n/g wet weight with the exception of nonylphenol-mix, where the concentration were op to approximately 325 ng/g wet weight. An evaluation of the concentration levels, based on average, shows relatively low levels except for nonylphenol-mix. The concentrations were within the same levels as in the Nordic Council of Ministers investigation with the exception of 4-tert-octylphenol where the concentrations in the present investigation are significant lower.

Removal of fat from the samples during the extraction is an essential step where the temperature plays an important role for the efficiency. A review of the laboratory notes from the previous investigation from Nordic Council of Ministers showed that it is possible that this essential step was not given proper attention. It is possible that this could lead to an error.