Simulation of nonylphenol degradation in leafy vegetables using a deuterated tracer
In this study, the residues of nonylphenol, an endocrine-disrupting chemical, were investigated in two types of leafy vegetables, leek and cabbage, that are commonly consumed in eight provinces in China. Nonylphenol was detected in 43.50% of the 223 samples, at concentrations up to 51.90 μg kg−1. The isotopic tracer 4-n-NP-2,3,5,6-d4-OD was chosen to simulate the degradation of nonylphenol in cabbage. More than 80% of the tracer was degraded in the first 7 days, and most of it had vanished by the end of the 35-day experimental period. A preliminary degradation equation was established to describe the variation of nonylphenol residues in leafy vegetables, and the amounts of nonylphenol in four pesticides were analyzed. The results indicated that nonylphenol residues in leafy vegetables are probably derived from the applied pesticides. The potential risk of pesticide adjuvants as well as that of the active ingredient in pesticides should be taken into consideration when recommending a safety interval period.