We report a survey on the occurrence of estrogens (estrone, E1; 17 β -estradiol, E2; 17 α -ethynylestradiol, EE2) and xenoestrogens (bisphenol-A, BPA; 4- t -octylphenol, 4- t -OP; 4-nonylphenols, 4-NP; and nonylphenol mono- and di-ethoxylates, NPE1 and NPE2) in effluents from five wastewater treatment plants and their receiving waters in South East Queensland. The total xenoestrogen concentrations in effluent ranged between 2446 ng/L and 6579 ng/L, with 4-NP and NPE1-2 having much higher concentration levels than BPA and 4- t -OP. The estrogen levels in effluent varied from 9.12 to 32.22 ng/L for E1, from 1.37 ng/L to 6.35 ng/L for E2 and from 0.11 ng/L to 1.20 ng/L for EE2. No significant differences ( p < 0.05) in the concentrations of the selected estrogenic compounds were found for the effluents from the five sewage treatment plants. The estrogens and xenoestrogens were also found in the receiving waters at relatively lower concentration levels due to dilution of effluents in the rivers. Based on the chemical analysis data and relative potency of the compound from in vitro and in vivo bioassays from the literature, the calculated in vitro EEQ values (estrogen equivalents) in the receiving river waters downstream of the effluent discharge points ranged from 1.32 to 11.79 ng/L, while the in vivo EEQ values (vitellogenin response in rainbow trout) ranged from 2.48 to 21.18 ng/L. The three estrogens accounted for the majority of the EEQ in the water samples. This study indicates that the rivers of South East Queensland are at potential risk.
Science of the Total Environment – Elsevier
Published: Sep 1, 2009
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