Water Quality Research Journal of Canada

Vol. 38 (4): 683 - 702 (2003). General issue

Occurrence of Polycyclic and Nitro Musk Compounds in Canadian Sludge and Wastewater Samples

   Hing-Biu Lee, Thomas E. Peart, Kurtis Sarafin

Fragrances such as synthetic musk compounds are commonly used as additives in a wide range of consumer and personal-care products. At the end of their life cycle, most of these compounds will end up in municipal sewage systems. In this work, we report the occurrence of selected polycyclic and nitro musk compounds in sewage sludge, influent, effluent, as well as some industrial wastewater samples collected in Canada. A newly developed supercritical carbon dioxide extraction technique was used for the extraction of residual musk fragrances in the sludge. Final analysis was performed by GC/MS using electron-impact and methane negative ion chemical ionization techniques. The results indicated that Galaxolide® (HHCB), Tonalide® (AHTN), musk xylene (MX), and musk ketone (MK) were the most common musk compounds in the Canadian environment, as they were found in every sample in this study. In the same sludge sample, levels of HHCB and AHTN (ranging from 1.3 to 26.7 µg/g) were often found to be about 1000 times higher than those of MX and MK (ranging from 1.4 to 422 ng/g). Similarly, in the sewage influent and effluent collected in Ontario, the levels of HHCB and AHTN (ranging from 159 to 2411 ng/L) were much higher than those of MX and MK (ranging from 1 to 84 ng/L). The levels of musk compounds varied widely in industrial wastewaters. In one sample collected from a detergent manufacturer, the levels of HHCB, AHTN, MX, and MK were found to be 54,200, 13,300, 5480, and 2.2 ng/L, respectively. It was also noted that the levels of MX and MK observed in the samples collected from the commercial laundries in Toronto were significantly higher than those found in domestic sewage.

industrial wastewater, polycyclic and nitro musk, sewage, sludge

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