Accidental Spill of Palm Stearin Poses Relatively Short-Term Ecological Risks to a Tropical Coastal Marine Ecosystem

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

6 Scopus Citations
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Author(s)

  • Guang-Jie Zhou
  • Racliffe Weng Seng Lai
  • Ronia Chung-tin Sham
  • Chung-Sum Lam
  • Katie Wan Yee Yeung
  • Juan Carlos Astudillo
  • Kevin King Yan Ho
  • Mana Man Na Yung
  • Jason Kin Chung Yau

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12269−12277
Journal / PublicationEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume53
Issue number21
Online published26 Sep 2019
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2019

Abstract

In early August 2017, a serious palm stearin pollution accident occurred in the Pearl River Estuary, South China. While there were already several palm oil related spills around the world, the ecological effects and risks of such accidents to coastal marine environments remain largely unknown. In this study, we found that all seawater and sediment samples collected from six coastal sites were heavily contaminated by palm stearin within 1 week of the accident, and their levels significantly decreased to preaccident levels after four months. Waterborne exposure to palm stearin resulted in growth inhibition to four microalgal species (range of EC50: 9.9-212.6 mg/L) and acute mortality to four invertebrate species (range of LC50: 4.6-409.3 mg/L), while adverse chronic effects of palm stearin on the survival, development, and fecundity of Tigriopus japonicus and on the growth of Oryzias melastigma were observed. On the basis of these results, its interim-predicted no effect concentration was determined as 0.141 mg/L. The hazard quotient of palm stearin greatly exceeded 1 at all sites in August 2017 but returned to <1 at four sites and <2 at the other two sites in November 2017, indicating that its ecological risk was relatively transient and short-term.

Citation Format(s)

Accidental Spill of Palm Stearin Poses Relatively Short-Term Ecological Risks to a Tropical Coastal Marine Ecosystem. / Zhou, Guang-Jie; Lai, Racliffe Weng Seng; Sham, Ronia Chung-tin; Lam, Chung-Sum; Yeung, Katie Wan Yee; Astudillo, Juan Carlos; Ho, Kevin King Yan; Yung, Mana Man Na; Yau, Jason Kin Chung; Leung, Kenneth Mei Yee.

In: Environmental Science and Technology, Vol. 53, No. 21, 05.11.2019, p. 12269−12277.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review