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postgraduate thesis: Ecological and human health risks associated with organotin contamination in the marine environment of Hong Kong and Shenzhen, China

TitleEcological and human health risks associated with organotin contamination in the marine environment of Hong Kong and Shenzhen, China
Authors
Issue Date2014
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Ho, K. [何景欣]. (2014). Ecological and human health risks associated with organotin contamination in the marine environment of Hong Kong and Shenzhen, China. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5185912
AbstractOrganotin compounds (OTs), in particular tributyltin (TBT) and triphenyltin (TPT), have caused widespread adverse effects on marine organisms ever since their wide application as biocides in 1960s. For instance, TBT can induce the abnormal development of imposex in marine gastropods, and inhibit development and growth in oysters. A mandatory global ban on the use of OT-based antifouling systems, therefore, has been enacted by the International Maritime Organization to minimize their environmental impacts since September 2008. As a result, it is anticipated to see a reduction of OT contamination in the marine environment around the world. This study, therefore, primarily aims to test the hypothesis that there is a reduction of both OT contamination and its associated adverse impact to a common biomonitor, the rock shell Reishia clavigera along the coast in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, China through a series of field-based investigations. Before the field study, a method was successfully developed to simultaneously quantify the concentrations of six common OTs (i.e., mono-BT, di-BT and TBT; mono-PT, di-PT and TPT) in molluscan tissues using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. These six compounds coexist in marine environments. They are highly toxic to marine organisms and are able to induce imposex in gastropods like R. clavigera. First, a territory-wide survey on tissue concentrations of the OTs and imposex status in R. clavigera collected from 28 coastal sites of Hong Kong was conducted in 2010. The results indicated that all female R. clavigera suffered from imposex, and all rock shells contained high TPT concentrations. A probabilistic ecological risk assessment revealed that 17.6% of R. clavigera across all sites were at risk due to exposure to TPT, whereas the risk associated with TBT was relatively low. The same species collected from Dapeng Bay and Daya Bay, Shenzhen also exhibited high tissue concentrations of TPT. Second, R. clavigera transplanted from relatively clean sites to polluted sites for six months showed increases in both imposex status and tissue concentration of OTs, confirming the association between OT contamination and imposex development. Third, a 25-month population dynamics study of R. clavigera showed a limited recruitment of the species in the polluted sites. To verify if the observed OT contamination was widespread to other marine species in Hong Kong waters, a survey on the tissue concentrations of OTs in 11 local seafood species was conducted. Among them, the tongue sole Paraplagusia blochii had the highest tissue concentration of total OTs, with TPT as the most abundant residue. Potential health risk for consuming this benthic fish species was identified as both hazard quotient of TPT and hazard index exceeded unity. The overall results demonstrate that the coastal marine environments in this region are still heavily contaminated with OTs especially TPT, and there is no obvious sign of recovery of R. clavigera populations. Hopefully, with further scientific investigations, both Hong Kong and China governments will take appropriate management actions to control the use and release of these priority pollutants with a view to safeguarding the marine ecosystem and human health in this region.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectOrganotin compounds - Environmental aspects - China - Shenzhen Shi
Organotin compounds - Environmental aspects - China - Hong Kong
Dept/ProgramBiological Sciences
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/208427
AwardHKU 3 Minute Thesis Award, 2nd Runner-up (2013)

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorHo, King-yan-
dc.contributor.author何景欣-
dc.date.accessioned2015-03-09T02:47:50Z-
dc.date.available2015-03-09T02:47:50Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationHo, K. [何景欣]. (2014). Ecological and human health risks associated with organotin contamination in the marine environment of Hong Kong and Shenzhen, China. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5185912-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/208427-
dc.description.abstractOrganotin compounds (OTs), in particular tributyltin (TBT) and triphenyltin (TPT), have caused widespread adverse effects on marine organisms ever since their wide application as biocides in 1960s. For instance, TBT can induce the abnormal development of imposex in marine gastropods, and inhibit development and growth in oysters. A mandatory global ban on the use of OT-based antifouling systems, therefore, has been enacted by the International Maritime Organization to minimize their environmental impacts since September 2008. As a result, it is anticipated to see a reduction of OT contamination in the marine environment around the world. This study, therefore, primarily aims to test the hypothesis that there is a reduction of both OT contamination and its associated adverse impact to a common biomonitor, the rock shell Reishia clavigera along the coast in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, China through a series of field-based investigations. Before the field study, a method was successfully developed to simultaneously quantify the concentrations of six common OTs (i.e., mono-BT, di-BT and TBT; mono-PT, di-PT and TPT) in molluscan tissues using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. These six compounds coexist in marine environments. They are highly toxic to marine organisms and are able to induce imposex in gastropods like R. clavigera. First, a territory-wide survey on tissue concentrations of the OTs and imposex status in R. clavigera collected from 28 coastal sites of Hong Kong was conducted in 2010. The results indicated that all female R. clavigera suffered from imposex, and all rock shells contained high TPT concentrations. A probabilistic ecological risk assessment revealed that 17.6% of R. clavigera across all sites were at risk due to exposure to TPT, whereas the risk associated with TBT was relatively low. The same species collected from Dapeng Bay and Daya Bay, Shenzhen also exhibited high tissue concentrations of TPT. Second, R. clavigera transplanted from relatively clean sites to polluted sites for six months showed increases in both imposex status and tissue concentration of OTs, confirming the association between OT contamination and imposex development. Third, a 25-month population dynamics study of R. clavigera showed a limited recruitment of the species in the polluted sites. To verify if the observed OT contamination was widespread to other marine species in Hong Kong waters, a survey on the tissue concentrations of OTs in 11 local seafood species was conducted. Among them, the tongue sole Paraplagusia blochii had the highest tissue concentration of total OTs, with TPT as the most abundant residue. Potential health risk for consuming this benthic fish species was identified as both hazard quotient of TPT and hazard index exceeded unity. The overall results demonstrate that the coastal marine environments in this region are still heavily contaminated with OTs especially TPT, and there is no obvious sign of recovery of R. clavigera populations. Hopefully, with further scientific investigations, both Hong Kong and China governments will take appropriate management actions to control the use and release of these priority pollutants with a view to safeguarding the marine ecosystem and human health in this region.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.subject.lcshOrganotin compounds - Environmental aspects - China - Shenzhen Shi-
dc.subject.lcshOrganotin compounds - Environmental aspects - China - Hong Kong-
dc.titleEcological and human health risks associated with organotin contamination in the marine environment of Hong Kong and Shenzhen, China-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5185912-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineBiological Sciences-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5185912-
dc.description.awardHKU 3 Minute Thesis Award, 2nd Runner-up (2013)-

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