Virtually all rivers, including the material transported by them, will end up in the marine environment. As far as surfactants and their biodegradation products are concerned this is not perceived as a major issue since the resulting concentrations of surfactants in sea water, due to the high dilution factors and biodegradation processes are generally very low. The situation might be different where treated effluents from a wastewater treatment plant are discharged directly into the marine environment. In such a case, a more detailed local exposure analysis respective eco-toxicological risk assessment following technical sound guidance is highly recommended1.
1 ECETOC Technical Report 082 – Risk Assessment in Marine Environments.