Environmental fate and ecological risks of nonylphenols and bisphenol A in the Cape D'Aguilar Marine Reserve, Hong Kong

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-138
Journal / PublicationMarine Pollution Bulletin
Issue number1
Online published2 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2015
Externally publishedYes


Nonylphenols (NPs) and bisphenol A (BPA) are the most common endocrine disruptors detected in the coastal waters of Hong Kong. The Cape D'Aguilar Marine Reserve (CAMR), the only marine reserve in Hong Kong is close to urbanized areas, thus the resident marine organisms are inevitably influenced by partially treated wastewater from adjacent sewage treatment plants (STPs). Elevated levels of NPs and BPA were detected in all seawater, sediment and biota samples collected from the CAMR. Estrogenic activities of seawater from the CAMR, and sludge and sewage from a nearby STP were assessed using yeast estrogen screen assay. We found aromatase, estrogen receptor and vitellogenin genes in the marine medaka fish Oryzias melastigma were significantly up-regulated after exposure to the reserve's seawater. According to a tissue-residue-based probabilistic risk assessment, the marine species living in the CAMR are having 35% and 21% of chance to be at risk due to exposure to NPs and BPA, respectively.

Research Area(s)

  • Ecological risk assessment, Endocrine disrupting chemicals, Marine reserve, MRNA assay, Yeast estrogen screen assay

Citation Format(s)