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Occurrence and removal of estrogenic short-chain ethoxy nonylphenolic compounds and their halogenated derivatives during drinking water production

AuthorsPetrovic, Mira CSIC ORCID; Diaz, Alfredo; Ventura, Francesc; Barceló, Damià CSIC ORCID
KeywordsNonylphenolic compounds
Drinking water treatment
Llobregat River
Issue Date5-Sep-2003
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society
CitationEnvironmental Science and Technology 37(19): 4442-4448 (2003)
AbstractThe elimination of nonylphenol (NP), nonylphenol mono- and diethoxylates (NP1EO and NP2EO), nonylphenol carboxylates (NP1EC and NP2EC) and their brominated and chlorinated derivatives during drinking water treatment process in Sant Joan Despí waterworks in Barcelona was investigated utilizing a recently developed, highly sensitive LC−MS−MS method. The concentration of these potentially estrogenic compounds in raw water entering waterworks (taken from the Llobregat River, NE Spain) ranged from 8.3 to 22 μg/L, with NP2EC being the most abundant compound. Prechlorination reduced the concentration of short-chain ethoxy NPECs and NPEOs by about 25−35% and of NP by almost 90%. However, this reduction of concentrations was partially due to their transformation to halogenated derivatives. After prechlorination, halogenated nonylphenolic compounds represented approximately 13% of the total metabolite pool, of which 97% were in the form of brominated acidic metabolites. The efficiency of further treatment steps to eliminate nonylphenolic compounds (calculated for the sum of all short-chain ethoxy metabolites including halogenated derivatives) was as follows: settling and flocculation followed by rapid sand filtration (7%), ozonation (87%), GAC filtration (73%), and final disinfection with chlorine (43%), resulting in overall elimination ranging from 96 to 99% (mean 98% for four sampling dates). A few of the nonylphenolic compounds (NP, NP1EC, and NP2EC) were also identified in drinking water; however, the residues detected were generally below 100 ng/L, with one exception for NP2EC in November 2001 when a concentration of 215 ng/L was detected.
Description7 pages, 7 figures, 5 tables.-- PMID: 14572098 [PubMed].-- Printed version published Oct 1, 2003.
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