Occurrence and fate of endogenous steroid hormones, alkylphenol ethoxylates, bisphenol A and phthalates in municipal sewage treatment systems

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

27 Scopus Citations
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Author(s)

  • Qian Wu
  • James C.W. Lam
  • Karen Y. Kwok
  • Mirabelle M.P. Tsui
  • Paul K.S. Lam

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-58
Journal / PublicationJournal of Environmental Sciences
Volume61
Online published29 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017

Abstract

Steroid hormones, alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEOs) and phthalic acid esters (PAEs) are emerging endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that can interfere with the endocrine function in organisms at low concentrations. The occurrence, distribution behavior, removal rate and the fate of 31 target EDCs in sewage treatment plants, which consist of various treatment facilities and receiving water in Hong Kong, were investigated. Estrone, nonylphenol-di-ethoxylate and diethyl phthalate were found to be dominant in each group of influent samples with concentrations ranging from 11–33, 747–3945 and 445–4635 ng/L, respectively. Conversely, progesterone, nonylphenol-mono-ethoxylate and bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate were the most abundant in dewatered sludge, with concentrations ranging from 0.9–237, 75–19,743 and 4310–37,016 ng/g (dry weight). The removal rates of primary sedimentation and disinfection approaches were lower than 30% for most of the chemicals, while those of activated sludge and reverse osmosis were greater than 80% for more than two-thirds of the compounds, noticeably decreasing the estrogenic risk of sewage discharged into the environment. Steroid hormones were removed via biological degradation, while some APEOs and PAEs adsorbed to the sludge. Victoria Harbor poses a low to medium estrogenic risk mainly contributed by estrone and estradiol and deserves attention.

Research Area(s)

  • Alkylphenol ethoxylate, Endocrine disruptor, Phthalic acid ester, Risk assessment, Steroid hormone

Citation Format(s)

Occurrence and fate of endogenous steroid hormones, alkylphenol ethoxylates, bisphenol A and phthalates in municipal sewage treatment systems. / Wu, Qian; Lam, James C.W.; Kwok, Karen Y.; Tsui, Mirabelle M.P.; Lam, Paul K.S.

In: Journal of Environmental Sciences, Vol. 61, 11.2017, p. 49-58.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal