In this study, developmental toxicity was increased as the oil was further degraded under natural sunlight. Detailed chemical composition of the degraded oils was examined by use of gas chromatography (GC) and (−) electrospray ionization ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry (UHR-MS). Baseline toxicities were estimated based on chemical activities of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and it was obvious that the predicted chemical activities can not explain increased toxicity alone. However, the ultrahigh resolution mass spectral abundance of polar compounds including O3 and O4 class compounds was significantly increased as the photodegradation proceeded. Further examination of double bond equivalence values of the compounds showed that polar compounds with both non-aromatic and aromatic polar structures were increased. Statistical analysis indicates that the increased toxicity can be well explained by the increased polar compounds. Therefore, the oxygenated compounds identified in this study can play an important role in toxicity of degraded oils.
- Oil spill
- Ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis