The investigation on the presence of contaminants in Antarctica has been included in several research projects within the Italian National Antarctic Research Program (PNRA). The impact of the research station activities, as well as long-range atmospheric transport, can cause classical and emerging contaminants (ECs) to be found in Antarctic seawater [1]. Still, the contamination levels in remote regions are generally so low that classical spot sampling may not provide sufficient sensitivity. Two powerful approaches to overcome this problem are biomonitoring and passive sampling. Marine organisms can accumulate pollutants during their lives, sadly representing a sort of natural “long-term” passive sampler. The Antarctic Environmental Specimen Bank collects different kind of samples with validated procedures, to permit retrospective studies. In this framework, pooled samples of Adamussium colbecki, collected at Terra Nova Bay from 1996 to 2009, were used to monitor the presence of ECs, which, at that time, were unknown or not monitored. A methanol extraction followed by SPE was applied to the A. colbecki samples for the subsequent LC-MS/MS analysis of several ECs, including pharmaceuticals, UV-filters, perfluorinated compounds, and tracers. Among them, perfluorooctanoic (PFOA) and pefluorooctanesulfonic (PFOS) acids and two UV-filters were detected in all samples, while Triclosan, Bisphenol A, and some anti-inflammatories were detected at low levels in few samples. However, the main drawback of biomonitoring is represented by the matrix complexity. The use of passive samplers is a powerful alternative. Polar Organic Chemical Integrative Samplers (POCIS) were deployed in water for few weeks during the latter Antarctic expedition, both in Terra Nova Bay and in the wastewater treatment facility of the Italian research station, enabling contaminant pre-concentration and their following detection by LC-MS/MS. All these data provide a snapshot on the past and present Antarctic contamination by ECs. A systematic study in the next years is desirable to allow long-term considerations. [1] M. Grotti, S. Pizzini, M.L. Abelmoschi, G. Cozzi, R. Piazza, F. Soggia. Chemosphere (2016) 165, 418-426.

Monitoring Emerging Contaminants in Antarctic seawater: past, present and future challenges

Pizzini, Sarah;Piazza, Rossano;
2022-01-01

Abstract

The investigation on the presence of contaminants in Antarctica has been included in several research projects within the Italian National Antarctic Research Program (PNRA). The impact of the research station activities, as well as long-range atmospheric transport, can cause classical and emerging contaminants (ECs) to be found in Antarctic seawater [1]. Still, the contamination levels in remote regions are generally so low that classical spot sampling may not provide sufficient sensitivity. Two powerful approaches to overcome this problem are biomonitoring and passive sampling. Marine organisms can accumulate pollutants during their lives, sadly representing a sort of natural “long-term” passive sampler. The Antarctic Environmental Specimen Bank collects different kind of samples with validated procedures, to permit retrospective studies. In this framework, pooled samples of Adamussium colbecki, collected at Terra Nova Bay from 1996 to 2009, were used to monitor the presence of ECs, which, at that time, were unknown or not monitored. A methanol extraction followed by SPE was applied to the A. colbecki samples for the subsequent LC-MS/MS analysis of several ECs, including pharmaceuticals, UV-filters, perfluorinated compounds, and tracers. Among them, perfluorooctanoic (PFOA) and pefluorooctanesulfonic (PFOS) acids and two UV-filters were detected in all samples, while Triclosan, Bisphenol A, and some anti-inflammatories were detected at low levels in few samples. However, the main drawback of biomonitoring is represented by the matrix complexity. The use of passive samplers is a powerful alternative. Polar Organic Chemical Integrative Samplers (POCIS) were deployed in water for few weeks during the latter Antarctic expedition, both in Terra Nova Bay and in the wastewater treatment facility of the Italian research station, enabling contaminant pre-concentration and their following detection by LC-MS/MS. All these data provide a snapshot on the past and present Antarctic contamination by ECs. A systematic study in the next years is desirable to allow long-term considerations. [1] M. Grotti, S. Pizzini, M.L. Abelmoschi, G. Cozzi, R. Piazza, F. Soggia. Chemosphere (2016) 165, 418-426.
Atti del XXIX Congresso della Divisione di Chimica Analitica della Società Chimica Italiana
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