, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 23-28
Date: 15 Feb 2006

Compound-specific stable carbon isotope analyses of riverine water organic contaminants

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Phthalates, isopropylpalmitate and synthetic musks were studied in water samples from the Lippe and Rhine rivers, Germany, using compound-specific stable carbon isotope analysis. It is shown that various compounds are characterised by systematic trends of isotopic signatures. Significant shifts of isotopic ratios of the plasticiser DEHP in Rhine river samples, ranging from Δδ13C=1.9 to Δδ13C=3.2 have been correlated with contributions derived from discharging tributaries. Isotopic patterns of the synthetic musk HHCB correlated with the compounds’ load quantities. Such correlations are the first steps for a descriptive characterisation of isotopic fractionation processes in aquatic systems, which can provide a better understanding of the fate of organic xenobiotics in rivers.