Chlorination by-product concentration levels in seawater and fish of an industrialised bay (Gulf of Fos, France) exposed to multiple chlorinated effluents


  • Boudjellaba Djamel
  • Dron Julien
  • Revenko G.
  • Demelas Carine
  • Boudenne Jean Luc


  • Chlorination by-products
  • Marine pollution
  • Industrial cooling water
  • LNG regasification water
  • Conger eel
  • Bioconcentration factor

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Chlorination is one of the most widely used techniques for biofouling control in large industrial units, leading to the formation of halogenated chlorination by-products (CBPs). This study was carried out to evaluate the distribution and the dispersion of these compounds within an industrialised bay hosting multiple chlorination discharges issued from various industrial processes. The water column was sampled at the surface and at 7 m depth (or bottom) in 24 stations for the analysis of CBPs, and muscle samples from 15 conger eel (Conger conger) were also investigated. Temperature and salinity profiles supported the identification of the chlorination releases, with potentially complex patterns. Chemical analyses showed that bromoform was the most abundant CBP, ranging from 0.5 to 2.2 μg L− 1 away from outlets (up to 10 km distance), and up to 18.6 μg L− 1 in a liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification plume. However, CBP distributions were not homogeneous, halophenols being prominent in a power station outlet and dibromoacetonitrile in more remote stations. A seasonal effect was identified as fewer stations revealed CBPs in summer, probably due to the air and water temperatures increases favouring volatilisation and reactivity. A simple risk assessment of the 11 identified CBPs showed that 7 compounds concentrations were above the potential risk levels to the local marine environment. Finally, conger eel muscles presented relatively high levels of 2,4,6-tribromophenol, traducing a generalised impregnation of the Gulf of Fos to CBPs and a global bioconcentration factor of 25 was determined for this compound.

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