Assessment of organophosphate flame retardants in Mediterranean Boops boops and their relationship to anthropization levels and microplastic ingestion

Chemosphere. 2020 Aug:252:126569. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.126569. Epub 2020 Mar 19.


Plastic litter pollution is increasing in the seas and oceans worldwide, raising concern on the potential effects of plasticizer additives on marine fauna. In this study, muscle samples of 30 bogues (Boops boops; Linneaus, 1758) from the North Western Mediterranean Sea were analysed to assess the concentrations of 19 organophosphate flame retardant (OPFR) compounds and to inspect any relationship with microplastic ingestion and relative levels of anthropization. Out of the 19 OPFRs analysed, 6 compounds were detected, being tri-n-butyl phosphate (TNBP), 2-ethylhexyldiphenyl phosphate (EHDPP) and triphenylphosphine oxide (TPPO) the most abundant. As expected, OPFR concentrations were higher in samples collected off the most anthropized area of the city of Barcelona than in those from the Cap de Creus Marine Protected Area, while no significant correlation was detected between OPFR concentrations and microplastic ingestion. The results of this manuscript provide a first evidence of OPFR presence in the muscle of the bogue and identify the coastal area off Barcelona as a possible concentration area for contaminants, further supporting the use of the bogue as an indicator species of plastic pollution in the Mediterranean Sea.

Keywords: Bogue; Mediterranean sea; OPFRs; Plastic litter; Plasticizers.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Environmental Monitoring*
  • Flame Retardants / analysis
  • Flame Retardants / metabolism*
  • Mediterranean Sea
  • Microplastics / analysis*
  • Organophosphates / analysis
  • Organophosphates / metabolism*
  • Organophosphorus Compounds
  • Perciformes / metabolism*
  • Plasticizers / analysis
  • Plastics / analysis
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / metabolism*


  • Flame Retardants
  • Microplastics
  • Organophosphates
  • Organophosphorus Compounds
  • Plasticizers
  • Plastics
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • tributyl phosphate
  • triphenylphosphine oxide