The occurrence of endocrine disrupting compounds in off-shore sediments from the southern Baltic Sea
This paper presents the study on the occurrence and spatial distribution of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), butyltin compounds (BTCs), bisphenol A (BPA), and alkylphenols (APs) in sediments. The study focused mainly on off-shore surface sediments collected from the southern Baltic Sea. The pollutant concentrations were as follows: <LOQ–0.158 μg kg−1 dw ∑9PBDEs, 0.02–1.06 μg kg−1 dw BDE-209; <LOQ–20.13 μg Sn kg−1 dw ∑BTCs and 2.7–1001 μg kg−1 dw nonylphenols (NPs). The spatial distribution of the analyzed compounds was highly related to the organic matter content in the sediments. Only BDE-209 concentrations were the highest in sandy sediments collected near the point source of pollution. This suggests the fresh anthropogenic input of BDE-209 into the marine environment. The principal component analysis (PCA) confirms these observations—the distribution of ∑BTCs, NPs, and ∑9PBDEs was mainly determined by the physicochemical properties of the sediments, while the distribution of BDE-209 was also related to other factors, such as proximity to the pollution source. According to the environmental standards applied in this work, NPs, and to a lesser extent TBT, might pose a risk to aquatic life in the present study area as they occur in some sediments in concentrations higher than those that might cause adverse effects on biota.