Determination of Nonylphenol, Octylphenol and Bisphenol-A in Water and Sediments of Two Major Rivers in Lagos, Nigeria


The continuous uncontrolled discharge of pollutants into aquatic systems in developing countries like Nigeria has prompted a more sensitive assessment of the level of pollutants inhabiting the environment. Sediments and waters of River Ogun and River Ibeche in southwestern part of Nigeria were collected and analysed for 4-t-Octyphenol (4-t-OP), 4-nonylphenol (4-NP) and Bisphenol-A (BPA), that have been shown to possess endocrine-disrupting properties. Prior to analysis by GC-MS technique, targeted compounds were extracted from samples by ultrasonication and liquid-liquid extraction, respectively. Physicochemical properties of the samples such as temperature, pH, total organic carbon and particle size distribution were also determined. 4-NP and 4-t-Op were detected in all the water samples with concentration ranging between 43.9 ng/L - 79.4 ng/L and 57.1 ng/L - 68.6 ng/L, respectively. No trace of BPA was found in all the water samples collected. However, BPA in sediment samples from both rivers ranged from non detectable to 0.4 ng/g, while 4-t-OP and 4-NP were between 2.2 ng/g - 24.5 ng/g and 1.1 ng/g - 79.4 ng/g, respectively. The presence of these compounds in surface water and sediments may be attributed to the release of pollutants into the studied rivers from both domestic and industrial activities. Further studies are however needed to investigate the potential ecological and health effects of these compounds on aquatic organisms that inhabit the rivers.

Share and Cite:

A. Oketola and T. Fagbemigun, "Determination of Nonylphenol, Octylphenol and Bisphenol-A in Water and Sediments of Two Major Rivers in Lagos, Nigeria," Journal of Environmental Protection, Vol. 4 No. 7A, 2013, pp. 38-45. doi: 10.4236/jep.2013.47A005.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] J. O. Lalah, K. W. Schramm, B. Henkelmann, D. Lenoir, A. Behechti, K. Gunter and A. Kettrup, “The Dissipation, Distribution and Fate of a Branched 14C-Nonylphenol Isomer in Lake Water/Sediment Systems,” Environmental Pollution, Vol. 122, No. 2, 2003, pp. 195-203. doi:10.1016/S0269-7491(02)00295-6
[2] M. Ahel, and W. Giger, “Aqueous Solubility of Alkylphenols and Alkylphenol Polyethoxylates,” Chemosphere, Vol. 26, No. 8, 1993, pp. 1461-1470. doi:10.1016/0045-6535(93)90213-O
[3] T. Mayer, D. Bennie, F. Rosa, G. Rekas, and J. Palabrica, “Occurrence of Alkylphenolic Substances in a Great Lakes Coastal Marsh, Cootes Paradise, ON, Canada,” Environmental Pollution, Vol. 147, No. 3, 2007, pp. 683-690. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2006.09.012
[4] J. L. Zhao, G. G. Ying, L. Wang, J. F. Yang, X. B. Yang, L. H. Yang and X. Li, “Determination of Phenolic Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and Acidic Pharmaceuticals in Surface Water of the Pearl Rivers in South China by Gas Chromatography-Negative Chemical Ionization-Mass Spectrometry,” Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 407, No. 2, 2009, pp. 962-974. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2008.09.048
[5] J. Liu, R. Wang, B. Huang, C. Lin, Y. Wang, and X. Pan, “Distribution and Bioaccumulation of Steroidal and Phenolic Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in Wild Fish Species from Dianchi Lake, China,” Environmental Pollution, Vol. 159, No. 10, 2011, pp. 2815-2822. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2011.05.013
[6] Environment Agency UK (EA), “Environmental Risk Evaluation Report: 4-Tert-Octylphenol, Environmental Agency, Rio House, Waterside Drive, Aztec West, Almondsbury, Bristol, BS32 4UD,” 2012.
[7] APE Research Council (APERC), “Product Information,” 2012.
[8] K. Quednow and W. Puttmann, “Endocrine Disruptors in Fresh Water Streams of Hesse, Germany: Changes in Concentration Levels in the Time Span from 2003 to 2005,” Environmental Pollution, Vol. 152, No. 2, 2008, pp. 476-483. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2007.05.032
[9] M. Jonkers, H.-P. Kohler, A. Dammshauser and W. Giger, “Mass Flows of Endocrine Disruptors in the Glatt River during Varying Weather,” Environmental Pollution, Vol. 157, No. 3, 2009, pp. 714-723. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2008.11.029
[10] Y. Q. Huang, C. K. C. Wong, J. S. Zheng, H. Bouwman, R. Barra, B. Wahlstrom, L. Neretin and M. H. Wong, “Bisphenol-A (BPA) in China: A Review of Sources, Environmental Levels, and Potential Human Health Impacts,” Environment International, Vol. 30, No. 1, 2011, pp. 30-40.
[11] L. J. Heinis, M. L. Knuth, K. Liber, B. R. Sheedy, R. L. Tunell and G. T. Akley, “Persistence and Distribution of 4-NP Following Repeated Application to Littoral Enclosures,” Environmental Toxicology Chemistry, Vol. 18, No. 3, 1999, pp. 363-375. doi:10.1002/etc.5620180302
[12] K. Liber, M. L. Knuth and F. S. Stay, “An Integrated Evaluation of the Persistence and Effects of 4-NP in an Experimental Littoral Ecosystem,” Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Vol. 18, No. 3, 1999, pp. 357-362. doi:10.1002/etc.5620180301
[13] M. Ahel, W. Giger and M. Koch, “Behavior of Alkylphenolpolyethoxylate Surfactants in the Aquatic Environment: Occurrence and Transportation in Sewage Treatment,” Water Research, Vol. 28, No. 5, 1994, pp. 1131-1142. doi:10.1016/0043-1354(94)90200-3
[14] I.-F. Mao, Y.-Y. Lu and M.-L. Chen, “A Simplified Method for Simultaneous Quantitation of Alkylphenols and Alkylphenolethoxylates in Meat and Fish Using High-Performance Liquid Chromatography with Fluorescence Detection,” International Journal of Environmental Analytical chemistry, Vol. 86, No. 10, 2006, pp. 713-722. doi:10.1080/03067310500391971
[15] M. R. Servos, “Review of the Aquatic Toxicity and Bioaccumulation of Alkylphenols and Alkylphenolethoxylates,” Water Quality Research Canada, Vol. 34, 1999, pp. 123-182.
[16] F. Pingqing and K. Kimitaka, “Ubiquity of Bisphenol-A in the Atmosphere,” Environmental Pollution, Vol. 158, No. 10, 2010, pp. 3138-3143. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2010.06.040
[17] A. V. Krishnan, P. S. Starhis, F. Permuth, L. Tokes and D. Feldman, “Bisphenol-A: An Estrogenic Substance Is Released from Polycarbonate Flasks during Autoclaving,” Endocrinology, Vol. 132, No. 6, 1993, pp. 2279-2286. doi:10.1210/en.132.6.2279
[18] I. Limam, A. Guenne, M. R. Driss and L. Mazeas, “Simultaneous Determination of Phenol, Methylphenols, Chlorophenols and Bisphenol-A by Headspace Solid-Phase Microextraction-Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry in Water Samples and Industrial Effluents,” International Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry, Vol. 90, No. 3-6, 2010, pp. 230-244. doi:10.1080/03067310903267307
[19] J. A. Brotons, M. F. Olea-Serrano, M. Villalobos, V. Pedraza and N. Olea, “Xenoestrogens Released from Lacquer Coating in Food Cans,” Journal of Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 103, 1995, pp. 608-612. doi:10.1289/ehp.95103608
[20] C. A. Staples, P. B. Dorn, G. M. Klecka, S. T. O’Block and L. R. Harris, “A Review of the Environmental Fate, Effects and Exposures of Bisphenol-A,” Chemosphere, Vol. 36, No. 10, 1998, pp. 2149-2174. doi:10.1016/S0045-6535(97)10133-3
[21] H. Fromme, T. Kuchler, K. Otto Pilz, J. Muller and A. Wenzel, “Occurrence of Phthalates and Bisphenol-A and F in the Environment,” Water Research, Vol. 36, No. 6, 2002, pp. 1429-1438. doi:10.1016/S0043-1354(01)00367-0
[22] N. K. Wilson, J. C. Chuang, and C. Lyu, “Levels of Persistent Organic Pollutants in Several Child Day Care Centers,” Exposure, Analytical and Environmental Epidemiology, Vol. 11, No. 6, 2001, pp. 449-458. doi:10.1038/sj.jea.7500190
[23] R. A. Rudel, D. E. Camann, J. D. Spengler, L. R. Korn and J. G. Brody, “Phthalates, Alkylphenols, Pesticides, Polybrominateddiphenyl Ethers and Other Endocrine Disrupting Compounds in Indoor Air and Dust,” Environmental Science and Technology, Vol. 37, No. 20, 2003, pp. 4543-4553. doi:10.1021/es0264596
[24] L. N. Vandenberg, R. Hauser, M. Marcus, N. Olea and W. V. Welshons, “Human Exposure to Bisphenol-A (BPA),” Reproductive Toxicology, Vol. 24, No. 2, 2007, pp. 139-177. doi:10.1016/j.reprotox.2007.07.010
[25] A. M. Calafat, J. A. Wong and L. L. Needham, “Exposure of the US Population to Bisphenol-A and 4-Tertiary-Octylphenol: 2003-2004,” Journal of Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 116, No. 1, 2008, pp. 39-44. doi:10.1289/ehp.10753
[26] A. Walkley, “An Examination of Methods for Determining Organic Carbon and Nitrogen in Soils,” Journal of Agricultural Science, Vol. 25, No. 4, 1935, pp. 598-609. doi:10.1017/S0021859600019687
[27] A. Goodson, W. Summerfield and I. Cooper, “Survey of Bisphenol-A and Bisphenol-F in Canned Foods,” Food Additives and Contaminants, Vol. 19, No. 8, 2002, pp. 796-802. doi:10.1080/02652030210146837
[28] V. Andreu, E. Ferrer, J. L. Rubio, G. Font and Y. Pico, “Quantitative Determination of Octylphenol, Nonylphenol, Alkylphenol Ethoxylates and Alcohol Ethoxylates by Pressurized Liquid Extraction and Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry in Soils Treated with Sewage Sludges,” Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 378, No. 1-2, 2007, pp. 124-129. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2007.01.024
[29] G. G. Ying, B. Williams and R. Kookana, “Environmental Fate of Alkylphenols and Alkylphenolethoxylates: A Review,” Environment International, Vol. 28, No. 3, 2002, pp. 215-226. doi:10.1016/S0160-4120(02)00017-X
[30] H. M. Kuck and K. Ballschmiter, “Determination of Endocrine-Disrupting Phenolic Compounds and Estrogens in Surface and Drinking Water by HRGC-(NCI)-MS in the Pictogram Per Litre Range,” Environmental Science and Technology, Vol. 35, No. 15, 2001, pp. 3201-3206. doi:10.1021/es010034m
[31] G. R. Boyd, J. M. Palmeri, S. Zhang and D. A. Grimm, “Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) and Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) in Storm Water Canals and Bayou St. John in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA,” Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 333, No. 1-3, 2004, pp. 137-148. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2004.03.018
[32] T. Furuichi, K. Kannan, J. P. Giesy and S. Masunaga, “Contribution of Known Endocrine Disrupting Substances to the Estrogenic Activity in Tama River Water samples from Japan Using Instrumental Analysis and in Vitro Reporter Gene Assay,” Water Research, Vol. 38, No. 20, 2004, pp. 4491-4501. doi:10.1016/j.watres.2004.08.007
[33] B. Stachel, U. Ehrhorn, O. P. Heemken, P. Lepnon, H. Reincke, G. Sawal and N. Theobald, “Xenoestrogens in the River Elbe and Its Tributaries,” Environmental Pollution, Vol. 124, No. 3, 2003, pp. 497-507. doi:10.1016/S0269-7491(02)00483-9
[34] ENDS, “Industry Glimpses New Challenges as Endocrine Science Advances,” ENDS Report 290, 1999, pp. 26-30.
[35] L. Wang, G.-G. Ying, J.-L. Zhao, S. Liu, B. Yang, L.-J. Zhou, R. Tao and H.-C. Su, “Assessing Estrogenic Activity in Surface Water and Sediment of the Liao River System in North East China, Using Combined Chemical and Biological Tools,” Environmental Pollution, Vol. 159, No. 1, 2011, pp. 148-156. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2010.09.017
[36] T. Isobe, H. Nishiyama, A. Nakashima and H. Takada, “Distribution and Behavior of Nonylphenol, Octylphenol, and Nonylphenol Monoethoxylate in Tokyo Metropolitan Area: Their Association with Aquatic Particles and Sedimentary Distributions,” Environmental Science and Technology, Vol. 35, No. 6, 2001, pp. 1041-1049. doi:10.1021/es001250i
[37] B. Chen, J. C. Duan, B. X. Mai, X. J. Luo, Q. S. Yang and G. Y. Sheng, “Distribution of alkyphenols in the Pearl River Delta and Adjacent Northern South China Sea, China,” Chemosphere, Vol. 63, No. 4, 2006, pp. 652-661. doi:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2005.08.004
[38] X. Z. Peng, Z. D. Wang, C. Yang, F. R. Chen and B. X. Mai, “Simultaneous Determination of Endocrine-Disrupting Phenols and Steroid Estrogens in Sediment by Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry,” Journal of Chromatography A, Vol. 1116, No. 1-2, 2006, pp. 51-56. doi:10.1016/j.chroma.2006.03.017
[39] J. L. Zhao, G. G. Ying, F. Chen, Y. S. Liu, L. Wang, B. Yang, S. Liu and R. Tao, “Estrogenic Activity Profiles and Risks in Surface Waters and Sediments of the Pearl River System in South China Assessed by Chemical Analysis and in vitro Bioassay,” Journal of Environmental Monitoring, Vol. 13, No. 4, 2011, pp. 813-821. doi:10.1039/c0em00473a
[40] P. Hohenblum, O. Gans, W. Moche, S. Scharf and G. Lorbeer, “Monitoring of Selected Estrogenic Hormones and Industrial Chemicals in Groundwaters and Surface Waters in Austria,” Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 333, No. 1-3, 2004, pp. 185-193. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2004.05.009
[41] J. S. Khim, K. Kannan, D. L. Villeneuve, C. H. Koh and J. P. Gisey, “Characterization and Distribution of Trace Organic Contaminants in Sediment from Masan Bay, Korea by Instrumental Analysis,” Environmental Science and Technology, Vol. 33, No. 23, 1999, pp. 4199-4205. doi:10.1021/es9904484
[42] E. J. Ko, K. W. Kim, S. Y. Kang, S. D. Kim, S. B. Bang, S. Y. Hamm and D. W. Kim, “Monitoring of Environmental Phenolic Endocrine Disrupting Compounds in Treatment Effluents and River Waters, Korea,” Talanta, Vol. 73, No. 4, 2007, pp. 674-683. doi:10.1016/j.talanta.2007.04.033
[43] S. D. Kim, J. Cho, I. S. Kim, B. J. Vanderford and S. A. Snyder, “Occurrence and Removal of Pharmaceuticals and Endocrine Disruptors in South Korean Surface, Drinking, and Waste Water,” Water Research, Vol. 41, No. 5, 2007, pp. 1013-1021. doi:10.1016/j.watres.2006.06.034
[44] Z. Li, D. Li, J. R. Oh and J. G. Je, “Seasonal and Spatial Distribution of Nonylphenol in Shihwa Lake, Korea,” Chemosphere, Vol. 56, No. 6, 2004, pp. 611-618. doi:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2004.04.022
[45] G. Pojana, A. Gomiero, N. Jonkers and A. Marcomini, “Natural and Synthetic Endocrine Disrupting Compounds (EDCs) in Water Sediments and Biota of a Coastal Lagoon,” Environment International, Vol. 33, No. 7, 2007, pp. 929-936. doi:10.1016/j.envint.2007.05.003
[46] M. Petrovic, S. Lacorte, P. Viana and D. Barcelo, “Pressurized Liquid Extraction Followed by Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry for the Determination of Alkylphenolic Compounds in River Sediment,” Chromatography A, Vol. 959, No. 1-2, 2002, pp. 15-23. doi:10.1016/S0021-9673(02)00407-7
[47] Z. L. Zhang, A. Hibberd and J. L. Zhou, “Optimization of Derivatisation for the Analysis of Estrogenic Compounds in Water by Solid-Phase Extraction Gas ChromatographyMass Spectrometry,” Analytica Chemica Acta, Vol. 577, No. 1, 2006, pp. 52-61. doi:10.1016/j.aca.2006.06.029
[48] D. W. Kolpin, E. T. Furlong, M. T. Meyer, E. M. Thurman, S. D. Zaugg, L. B. Barber and N. T. Buxton, “Pharmaceuticals, Hormones and Other Organic Waste Water Contaminants in U.S. Streams, 1999-2000: A National Reconnaissance,” Environmental Science and Technology, Vol. 36, No. 6, 2002, pp. 1202-1211. doi:10.1021/es011055j
[49] J. D. Stuart, C. P. Capulong, K. D. Launer and X. Pan, “Analyses of Phenolic Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in Marine Samples by Both Gas and Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry,” Journal of Chromatography A, Vol. 1079, No. 1-2, 2005, pp. 136-145. doi:10.1016/j.chroma.2005.03.075

Copyright © 2021 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.