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NONIONIC SURFACTANTS IN WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANTS

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Certain non-ionic surfactants, more specifically nonylphenolethoxylates (NPEs), have been shown to be estrogenic and toxic to aquatic organisms according to recent studies conducted primarily in Europe and Canada. The purpose of this research is to validate these findings in New Jersey because of its strong industrial base comprising of pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturers, which are the major users and generators of NPEs. Most NPEs enter the aquatic environment from wastewater treatment plant discharges. In the United States, industrial uses of NPE encompass the largest category (55%). There are no U.S. regulatory actions to date for NPEs. Therefore, more research on the fate and transport of NPEs in the environment is essential. This paper reports on the occurrence of nonionic surfactants in major New Jersey wastewater treatment plants. Studies are currently underway to determine the presence of specific compounds (e.g. Nonylphenol) in local wastewater treatment plants. Nonyphneol is formed during the biodegradation of NPEs.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2001-01-01

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