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Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 5, pp 4094–4104 | Cite as

(Anti-)estrogenic and (anti-)androgenic effects in wastewater during advanced treatment: comparison of three in vitro bioassays

  • Linda Gehrmann
  • Helena Bielak
  • Maximilian Behr
  • Fabian Itzel
  • Sven Lyko
  • Anne Simon
  • Gotthard Kunze
  • Elke Dopp
  • Martin Wagner
  • Jochen Tuerk
Research Article

Abstract

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals are mainly discharged into the environment by wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and are known to induce adverse effects in aquatic life. Advanced treatment with ozone successfully removes such organic micropollutants, but an increase of estrogenic effects after the ozonation of hospital wastewater was observed in previous studies. In order to investigate this effect, estrogenic and androgenic as well as anti-estrogenic and anti-androgenic activities were observed during treatment of hospital wastewater using three different effect-based reporter gene bioassays. Despite different matrix influences, sensitivities, and test-specific properties, all assays used obtained comparable results. Estrogenic and androgenic activities were mainly reduced during the biological treatment and further removed during ozonation and sand filtration, resulting in non-detectable agonistic activities in the final effluent. An increased estrogenic activity after ozonation could not be observed in this study. Antagonistic effects were removed in the biological treatment by up to 50 % without further reduction in the advanced treatment. Due to the presence of antagonistic substances within the wastewater, masking effects were probable. Therefore, this study showed the relevance of antagonistic activities at hospital WWTPs and illustrates the need for a better understanding about antagonistic effects.

Keywords

Endocrine effects Advanced wastewater treatment Ozonation Antagonistic effects Reporter gene assays Effect-based analysis Micropollutant elimination 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank for financial support from the “Ministry for Climate Protection, Agriculture, Nature Conservation and Consumer Protection of North Rhine-Westphalia (MKULNV)” within the program „Ressourceneffiziente Abwasserbeseitigung NRW“ (AZ 17-04.02.01-04a/2013). We would also like to acknowledge Jan Oesterbeck from the North Rhine-Westphalia State Agency for Nature, Environment and Consumer Protection (LANUV NRW) for the great guidance and support during this project. Our special thanks for the support and helping hand during the operation and sampling belong to the dedicated personnel of Emschergenossenschaft/Lippeverband.

Supplementary material

11356_2016_7165_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1.8 mb)
ESM 1 (PDF 1.78 mb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linda Gehrmann
    • 1
  • Helena Bielak
    • 2
  • Maximilian Behr
    • 3
  • Fabian Itzel
    • 1
  • Sven Lyko
    • 4
  • Anne Simon
    • 2
  • Gotthard Kunze
    • 5
  • Elke Dopp
    • 2
    • 6
  • Martin Wagner
    • 3
  • Jochen Tuerk
    • 1
    • 6
  1. 1.Institut für Energie- und Umwelttechnik e. V. (IUTA, Institute of Energy and Environmental Technology)DuisburgGermany
  2. 2.IWW Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wasserforschung gemeinnützige GmbHMuelheim an der RuhrGermany
  3. 3.Abteilung Aquatic EcotoxicologyGoethe University FrankfurtFrankfurt am MainGermany
  4. 4.Emschergenossenschaft/Lippeverband (EG/LV)EssenGermany
  5. 5.Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK)Stadt SeelandGermany
  6. 6.Centre for Water and Environmental Research (ZWU)University Duisburg-EssenEssenGermany

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