Award Date


Degree Type



Environmental Science

Number of Pages



Natural musk (muscone) is a highly prized natural product for use in expensive consumer fragrances. Inexpensive synthetic substitutes have been commercialized over the last 40 years. Two main chemical classes are used commercially — the nitro musks (which fulfilled the original demand for inexpensive fragrance additives for personal care products such as bath soap, body lotions, perfumes, and washing detergents) and the newer polycyclic musks which have musklike smell. The commercial nitro musks include musk ketone, musk moskene, musk ambrette, musk xylene, and musk tibetene. The polycyclics include trade named compounds such as Galaxolide®, Tonalide®, Celestolide®, Traseolide®, Phantolide®, and Cashmeran®, among others. These consumer chemicals are manufactured and consumed in very large quantities worldwide. They are volatile, not amenable to normal environmental transformations, and lipophilic-all traits that should ordinarily lead to their being characterized as persistent, bioaccumulative, toxic chemicals (PBTs).16 Their use leads to their entry into the city sewage systems (presumably from bathing and other washing activities), and then into the aquatic ecosystem, where they can bioconcentrate and bioaccumulate in the tissues of aquatic organisms. Given their lipophilic bioaccumulative nature and possibly worldwide environmental distribution, they have the potential to be regarded as ubiquitous environmental contaminants.


Environmental Sciences

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Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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