Evaluation of the levels of phthalate ester plasticizers in surface water of Ethiope River System, Delta State, Nigeria
The objective of this study was to determine the level of phthalate ester plasticizers in Ethiope River water samples. Gas chromatography (GC) coupled with mass spectrometer (MS) was used to evaluate the levels of dimethyl phthalate (DMP), diethyl phthalate (DEP), dibuthyl phthalate (DBP), diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), buthylbenzyl phthalate (BBP), di-n-octyl phthalate (DnOP in the water samples. Range of total phthalate level in different locations fell between 0.74μg/L and 1.75μg/L. It was found that Sapele-1 and Sapele-2 had highest total phthalates concentrations. The highest concentrations of phthalates were DBP and DEHP, which is consistent with their common use in plastic materials and other industrial chemicals. It was found that the individual phthalates concentration was low but total phthalate levels were high in most stations. The results for phthalates in the water samples is low but there is the need to guide against an upward rise in the concentrations as these may pose grave environmental and health concern for people living downstream of the river. These results can be used as reference levels for future monitoring programs for pollution studies of the river.
Keywords: phthalates, acid esters, plasticizers, Ethiope River, surface water, pollution