The last two decades have witnessed growing scientific and public concerns over endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) that have the potential to alter the normal structure or functions of the endocrine system in wildlife and humans. In this study, the phenolic EDCs such as alkylphenol, chlorinated phenol and bisphenol A were considered. They are commonly found in wastewater discharges and in sewage treatment plant. In order to monitor the levels and seasonal variations of phenolic EDCs in various aquatic environments, a total of 15 water samples from the discharged effluent from sewage and wastewater treatment plants and river water were collected for 3 years. Ten environmental phenolic EDCs were determined by GC–MS and laser-induced fluorescence (LIF). GC–MS analysis revealed that most abundant phenolic EDCs were 4- n -heptylphenol, followed by nonlyphenol and bisphenol A during 2002–2003, while 4- t -butylphenol and 4- t -octylphenol were newly detected in aquatic environments in 2004. The category of phenolic EDCs showed similar fluorescence spectra and nearly equal fluorescence decay time. This makes it hard to distinguish each phenolic EDC from the EDCs mixture by LIF. Therefore, the results obtained from LIF analysis were expressed in terms of the fluorescence intensity of the total phenolic EDCs rather than that of the individual EDC. However, LIF monitoring and GC–MS analysis showed consistent result in that the river water samples had lower phenolic EDCs concentration compared to the effluent sample. This revealed a lower fluorescence intensity and the phenolic EDCs concentration in summer was lower than that in winter. For the validation of LIF monitoring for the phenolic EDCs, the correlation between EDCs concentration acquired from GC–MS and fluorescence intensity from LIF was obtained ( R = 0.7379). This study supports the feasibility of the application of LIF into EDCs monitoring in aquatic systems.
Talanta – Elsevier
Published: Oct 15, 2007
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