Screening study on occurrence of hazardous substances in the eastern Baltic Sea

IVL and NILU have during 2008/2009 as an assignment from HELCOM, performed a screening study in the eastern Baltic Sea environment on the occurrence of eight of the substances/substance groups identified as hazardous under the Baltic Sea Action Plan.     Of the eight substances or substance classes included in the study, six of them were found above LOQ; organic tin compounds, PBDEs, PFAS, nonylphenol, chlorinated paraffins and endosulfan (endosulfan sulphate). Substances that occurred in fish samples from all sampling sites were; TBT, PBDEs (BDE 47 and BDE 100), PFAS (PFOS), chlorinated paraffins (SCCP), and endosulfan (endosulfan sulphate). Additionally, bisphenol A was found in fish from almost all sampling sites. PFAS (PFOS and PFOA), octyphenol and nonylphenol were found in one, one and six water samples, respectively. No obvious differences in concentrations could be seen between the sampling sites classified as background areas and affected areas. Furthermore, no clear general differences between affected sites could be seen. Concentrations found for the different substances were lower or in the same range as previously reported from other areas of the Baltic Sea, thus the eastern Baltic Sea environment does not seem to be more polluted compared to the Baltic Sea in general. For all the substances, except TBT, concentrations found were below reported PNEC values. However, for TBT, concentrations in several fish muscle samples were close to or above the PNEC value estimated for protection of human health considering consumption of fishery products. Additionally, PFOS levels in fish liver exceeded the PNEC value regarding secondary poisoning of predators in six samples, but PFOS levels in fish muscle were not measured in this study.

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