Title: Europe-wide survey of estrogenicity in wastewater treatment plant effluents: the need for the effect-based monitoring
Citation: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND POLLUTION RESEARCH vol. 21 no. 18 p. 10970–10982
Publication Year: 2014
JRC N°: JRC84635
ISSN: 0944-1344
URI: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11356-014-3056-8
DOI: 10.1007/s11356-014-3056-8
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: A pan-European monitoring campaign of the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents was conducted to obtain a concise picture on a broad range of pollutants including estrogenic compounds. Snapshot samples from 75 WWTP effluents were collected and analysed for concentrations of 150 polar organic and 20 inorganic compounds as well as estrogenicity using the MVLN reporter gene assay. The effect-based assessment determined estrogenicity in 27 of 75 samples tested with the concentrations ranging from 0.53 to 17.9 ng/L of 17-beta-estradiol equivalents (EEQ). Approximately one third of municipal WWTP effluents contained EEQ greater than 0.5 ng/L EEQ, which confirmed the importance of cities as the major contamination source. Beside municipal WWTPs, some treated industrial wastewaters also exhibited detectable EEQ, indicating the importance to investigate phytoestrogens released from plant processing factories. No steroid estrogens were detected in any of the samples by instrumental methods above their limits of quantification of 10 ng/L, and none of the other analysed classes of chemicals showed correlation with detected EEQs. The study demonstrates the need of effect-based monitoring to assess certain classes of contaminants such as estrogens,which are known to occur at low concentrations being of serious toxicological concern for aquatic biota.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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