Occurrence, distribution and fluxes of benzotriazoles along the German large river basins into the North Sea


Benzotriazole (BT) and tolyltriazole (TT) are high production volume chemicals which are used in various industrial and household applications. In this study, the distribution of benzotriazoles in the estuaries of different rivers of central Europe and in the North Sea was analyzed by solid-phase extraction (SPE) and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS). BT as well as TT was detected in all water samples. The concentrations for total benzotriazoles (BTs) ranged from 1.7 to 40 ng/L in the North Sea in costal areas. Concentrations in rivers are from 200 to 1250 ng/L, respectively. The mass flux of total benzotriazoles from the major rivers of central Europe into the North Sea was calculated to 78 t/a, dominated by the Rhine with an individual flux of 57 t/a of BTs. The analysis of the distribution profile in the North Sea showed that the decrease of the concentration was mostly caused by dilution and that the benzotriazoles are poorly degradable in the North Sea. This paper presents the first report of benzotriazoles in the marine environment.
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