Prevalent phthalates in air-soil-vegetable systems of plastic greenhouses in a subtropical city and health risk assessments

Li-Juan ZENG, Yu-Hong HUANG, Xiao-Ting CHEN, Xiao-Hong CHEN, Ce-Hui MO, Yu-Xi FENG, Huixiong LÜ, Lei XIANG, Yan-Wen LI, Hui LI, Quan-Ying CAI, Ming Hung WONG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

Abstract

Wide use of plastic greenhouses for vegetable production increases human exposure to phthalate (PAEs) through vegetable intake. However, little information is available about distribution of PAEs in air-soil-vegetable systems of plastic greenhouses and PAE estrogenic effects. This study was designed to investigate PAE distributions and corresponding health risk in plastic greenhouses in Guangzhou, a subtropical city in South China. PAEs were prevalent in plastic greenhouses, with sum concentrations of 16 PAE compounds (∑16PAEs) up to 5.76 mg/kg in soils, 5.27 mg/kg in vegetables and 4393 ng/m³ in air. Di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, di-isobutyl phthalate, and dibutyl phthalate were predominant compounds. Average concentrations and bioconcentration factor of ∑16PAEs and the predominant PAE compounds in vegetables of greenhouses were higher than those of open fields. Plastic greenhouses exhibited significantly higher air PAE levels than those of open fields due to higher indoor temperature, which enhanced PAE accumulation by vegetables. Both carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic risks of PAEs via dietary and non-dietary exposures for farmers decreased with an order of vegetable > air > soil. Consumption of vegetables from greenhouses resulted in significantly higher estrogenic effects compared to those from open field cultivation. This study emphasizes highly potential health risks of PAEs in air-soil-vegetable systems of plastic greenhouses. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Article number140755
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume743
Early online dateJul 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Jul 2020

Citation

Zeng, L.-J., Huang, Y.-H., Chen, X.-T., Chen, X.-H., Mo, C.-H., Feng, Y.-X., . . . Wong, M.-H. (2020). Prevalent phthalates in air-soil-vegetable systems of plastic greenhouses in a subtropical city and health risk assessments. Science of the Total Environment, 743. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.140755

Keywords

  • Plastic greenhouses
  • Organic pollutant
  • Agricultural soil
  • Estrogenic effect
  • Warming effect

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