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The objective of this study was to assess the removal efficiencies of secondary wastewater treatment processes for compounds causing endocrine disrupting activity. The study used bioassays and chemical measurements, such as gas chromatography with mass spectrometry and enzyme immunosorbent
assays. A total of seven full-scale water reclamation facilities using different unit operations and two pilot-scale membrane bioreactors were examined. Findings of this study imply that estrogenic disrupting activity in primary effluent is mainly caused by two steroidal hormones (17β-estradiol
and estriol) and, to a lesser extent, by synthetic chemicals, such as bisphenol A, 4-nonylphenol, and 4-tert-octylphenol. During secondary treatment, steroidal hormones were removed to a higher degree than nonylphenol and bisphenol A. The total estrogenic activity was removed by an average
of 96%. The remaining concentrations of targeted steroids in secondary effluents, except for estriol, still had the potential to elicit a positive response in the human breast cell cancer assay. For the majority of facilities, the remaining activity was likely attributed to residual
concentrations of two steroidal hormones (17β-estradiol and estriol).
Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year. Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.