4-Methylphenol Produced in Freshwater Sediment Microcosms is not a Bisphenol A Metabolite


Jeongdae Im, Carson W. Prevatte, Hong Gun Lee, Shawn R. Campagna, Frank E. Löffler


4-Methylphenol (4-MP), a putative bisphenol A (BPA) degradation intermediate, was detected at concentrations reaching 2.1 mg L−1 in anoxic microcosms containing 10 mg L−1 BPA and 5 g of freshwater sediment material collected from four geographically distinct locations and amended with nitrate, nitrite, ferric iron, or bicarbonate as electron acceptors. 4-MP accumulation was transient, and 4-MP degradation was observed under all redox conditions tested. 4-MP was not detected in microcosms not amended with BPA. Unexpectedly, incubations with 13C-labeled BPA failed to produce 13C-labeled 4-MP suggesting that 4-MP was not derived from BPA. The detection of 4-MP in live microcosms amended with lactate, but not containing BPA corroborated that BPA was not the source of 4-MP. These findings demonstrate that the transient formation of 4-MP as a possible BPA degradation intermediate must be interpreted cautiously, as microbial activity in streambed microcosms may generate 4-MP from sediment-associated organic material.

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Im J, Prevatte CW, Lee HG, Campagna SR, Loeffler FE.2014. 4-Methylphenol produced in freshwater sediment microcosms is not a bisphenol A metabolite. Chemosphere 117:521-526.