CWEEE  Vol.3 No.1 , January 2014
Determination of the Occurrence and Elimination of Endocrine Disrupting Compounds (EDCs) in Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTP)
ABSTRACT

In recent years, many research and development activities have focussed on endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) in rivers, lakes and surface waters as the potential cause of reproductive disturbances in different aquatic organisms e.g. fish and mollusk. The effluent of wastewater treatment plants was identified as main source for EDCs entering the aquatic environment. The purpose of the present study was to determine the estrogenic activity of wastewater and the elimination efficiency of various WWTPs in the different purification steps using the E-screen assay, an in-vitro test system based on the increasing proliferation of human breast cancer cells (MCF-7) in response to the presence of hormonal active substances. In contrast to expensive and time-intensive targeted instrumental single substance analysis an effect-related biological testing provides a sum parameter for the entirety of compounds contributing to the total estrogenic activity (agonists and antagonists, anti-estrogenic and also toxic compounds) in concentration units of the reference substance 17b-estradiol. The current standard purification methods of biological wastewater treatment in particular the activated sludge process significantly reduce estrogenicity (average 95%). Sorption on activated carbon and subsequent precipitation leads to a further reduction of the overall estrogenic activity up to 99%.


Cite this paper
Lange, C. , Kuch, B. and Metzger, J. (2014) Determination of the Occurrence and Elimination of Endocrine Disrupting Compounds (EDCs) in Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTP). Computational Water, Energy, and Environmental Engineering, 3, 1-7. doi: 10.4236/cweee.2014.31001.
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