Comparing the MPCs for DBP and DEHP in water of 10 and 0.19 mgl-1, respectively, with measured concentrations, shows that the aquatic ecosystem is seldom at risk due to the presence of DBP. However, reported concentrations of DEHP are often higher than the calculated MPC; in the Netherlands, for instance, the MPC of DEHP in surface water in 1997 exceeded that in the main rivers by a factor of 3-10. Measured phthalate concentrations exceed the MPC of sediment to a large extent, although it should be noted that due to a lack of toxicity data for sediment, gross assumptions on the distribution and the corresponding distribution coefficients of phthalates had to be made.
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