AbstractThis study reports the occurrence and distribution of synthetic musks (SMs) and organic UV filters (UVFs) in sediment samples collected in 8 riverine runoffs from the Pearl River and Pearl River estuary (PRE). Here, 6 of the 8 target compounds were detected in all sediments with concentrations ranging from 0.35 ng g− 1 to 456 ng g− 1. Higher concentrations of SMs and UVFs were evident in the eastern outlets compared to the western suggesting greater input of these contaminants from the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region. All the compounds showed a decreasing trend toward the seaward side which confirming that riverine runoff was the most important source of SMs and UVFs to the coastal environment. Notably, high levels of SMs and UVFs were detected in two fishing harbors in the PRE area. In comparison to UVFs, the SM compounds exhibited a significant correlation with TOC content in the sediments.