Synthetic Musk Fragrances in Lake Michigan
Synthetic musk fragrances are added to a wide variety of personal care and household products and are present in treated wastewater effluent. Here we report for the first time ambient air and water measurements of six polycyclic musks (AHTN, HHCB, ATII, ADBI, AHMI, and DPMI) and two nitro musks (musk xylene and musk ketone) in North America. The compounds were measured in the air and water of Lake Michigan and in the air of urban Milwaukee, WI. All of the compounds except DPMI were detected. HHCB and AHTN were found in the highest concentrations in all samples. Airborne concentrations of HHCB and AHTN average 4.6 and 2.9 ng/m3, respectively, in Milwaukee and 1.1 and 0.49 ng/m3 over the lake. The average water concentration of HHCB and AHTN in Lake Michigan was 4.7 and 1.0 ng/L, respectively. A lake-wide annual mass budget shows that wastewater treatment plant discharge is the major source (3470 kg/yr) of the synthetic musks while atmospheric deposition contributes less than 1%. Volatilization and outflow through the Straits of Mackinac are major loss mechanisms (2085 and 516 kg/yr for volatilization and outflow, respectively). Concentrations of HHCB are about one-half the predicted steady-state water concentrations in Lake Michigan.
Peck, Aaron M., and Keri C. Hornbuckle. "Synthetic musk fragrances in Lake Michigan." Environmental science & technology 38, no. 2 (2004): 367-372.