Synthetic musk fragrances in Lake Erie and Lake Ontario sediment cores

Document Type


Peer Reviewed


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Journal/Book/Conference Title

Environmental Science and Technology

DOI of Published Version


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Two sediment cores collected from Lake Ontario and Lake Erie were sectioned, dated, and analyzed for five polycyclic musk fragrances and two nitro musk fragrances. The polycyclic musk fragrances were HHCB (Galaxolide), AHTN (Tonalide), ATII (Traseolide), ADBI (Celestolide), and AHMI (Phantolide). The nitro musk fragrances were musk ketone and musk xylene. Chemical analysis was performed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS), and results from Lake Erie were confirmed using gas chromatography/triple-quadrupole mass spectrometry (GC/MS/MS). The chemical signals observed at the two sampling locations were different from each other primarily because of large differences in the sedimentation rates at the two sampling locations. HHCB was detected in the Lake Erie core whereas six compounds were detected in the Lake Ontario core. Using measured fragrance and 210Pb activity, the burden of synthetic musk fragrances estimated from these sediment cores is 1900 kg in Lake Erie and 18 000 kg in Lake Ontario. The input of these compounds to the lakes is increasing. The HHCB accumulation rates in Lake Erie for 1979-2003 and 1990-2003 correspond to doubling times of 16 4 and 8 2 years, respectively. The results reflect current U.S. production trends for the sum of all fragrance compounds. 2006 American Chemical Society.

Published Article/Book Citation

Environmental Science and Technology, 40:18 (2006) pp.5629-5635.

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