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Occurrence, Profiles and Ecological Risk of Bisphenol Analogues in a Municipal Sewage Treatment Plant

Abstract

Due to the strict control on bisphenol A (BPA) in many countries, bisphenol analogues (BPs) are being widely used as alternative materials to manufacture epoxy resins and polycarbonate plastics, resulting in their occurrence in sewage treatment plants (STPs). In this study, the occurrence and distribution of 7 BPs in a large-scale STP in Beijing China was investigated. Wastewater samples were collected from the influents and effluents of each processing unit, and extracted by solid-phase extraction. Target compounds were quantified by ultra-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC–MS/MS). The total concentrations of seven BPs (ΣBPs) were 400.42 ± 48.12 ng/L in the raw sewage, 438.60 ± 46.50 ng/L in the primary effluent, 17.21 ± 13.12 ng/L in the secondary effluent, and 11.33 ± 4.84 ng/L in the tertiary effluent, respectively. Bisphenol S (BPS) and BPA were the predominant congener in raw sewage with an overall contribution of 29.32% and 70.22% to the ΣBPs, indicating that there was a large amount of BPS and BPA consumption in the study area. During a one-week sampling period, ΣBPs changed slightly at the same sampling site. It was found that high removal efficiencies were achieved for BPs in anoxic and oxic secondary clarifier treatment units, suggesting that biodegradation and sorption played major roles in BPs elimination in the STP. After tertiary treatment, all BPs except BPA were completely removed, suggesting the necessity to investigate the fate and toxicity of BPA in the aquatic environment.

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Acknowledgements

This work was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41673120) and the Research on Environmental Safety Monitoring, Assessment and Early Warning Technology of Centralized Drinking Water Source (2018002).

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Correspondence to Yanli Mao or Qiyan Feng.

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Gu, D., Song, Z., Kang, H. et al. Occurrence, Profiles and Ecological Risk of Bisphenol Analogues in a Municipal Sewage Treatment Plant. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 106, 1044–1049 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-021-03214-7

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Keywords

  • Bisphenol analogues
  • Occurrence
  • Elimination
  • Temporal variations
  • Ecological risk