John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Experimental and theoretical insights into photochemical transformation kinetics and mechanisms of aqueous propylparaben and risk assessment of its degradation products

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The kinetics and mechanisms of ultraviolet photochemical transformation of propylparaben (PPB) were studied. Specific kinetics scavenging experiments coupled with quantum yield determinations were used to distinguish the roles of various reactive species induced by self‐sensitized and direct photolysis reactions, and the excited triplet state of PPB (3PPB*) was identified as the most important species to initiate the photochemical degradation of PPB in aquatic environments. The computational results of time‐resolved absorption spectra proved that 3PPB* is a highly reactive electron acceptor, and a head‐to‐tail hydrogen transfer mechanism probably occurs through electron coupled with proton transfer. Physical quenching by, or chemical reaction of 3PPB* with, O2 was confirmed as a key step affecting the initial PPB transformation pathways and degradation mechanisms. The transformation products were identified and the toxicity evolutions of PPB solution during photochemical degradation under aerobic and anaerobic conditions were compared. Results indicated that anaerobic conditions were more likely than aerobic conditions to lead to the elimination and detoxification of PPB, but less likely to lead to PPB mineralization. Environ Toxicol Chem © 2014 SETAC

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