Estrogenic and AhR activities in dissolved phase and suspended solids from wastewater treatment plants

UMR 5569 Hydrosciences Montpellier, Université Montpellier 1, Av. Charles Flahault, 34060 Montpellier, France.
Science of The Total Environment (Impact Factor: 4.1). 03/2010; 408(12):2608-15. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2010.02.034
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The distribution of estrogen receptor (ERalpha) and Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor (AhR) activities between the dissolved phase and suspended solids were investigated during wastewater treatment. Three wastewater treatment plants with different treatment technologies (waste stabilization ponds (WSPs), trickling filters (TFs) and activated sludge supplemented with a biofilter system (ASB)) were sampled. Estrogenic and AhR activities were detected in both phases in influents and effluents. Estrogenic and AhR activities in wastewater influents ranged from 41.8 to 79 ng/L E(2) Eq. and from 37.9 to 115.5 ng/L TCDD Eq. in the dissolved phase and from 5.5 to 88.6 ng/g E(2) Eq. and from 15 to 700 ng/g TCDD Eq. in the suspended solids. For both activities, WSP showed greater or similar removal efficiency than ASB and both were much more efficient than TF which had the lowest removal efficiency. Moreover, our data indicate that the efficiency of removal of ER and AhR activities from the suspended solid phase was mainly due to removal of suspended solids. Indeed, ER and AhR activities were detected in the effluent suspended solid phase indicating that suspended solids, which are usually not considered in these types of studies, contribute to environmental contamination by endocrine disrupting compounds and should therefore be routinely assessed for a better estimation of the ER and AhR activities released in the environment.

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