Occurrence, Fate and Adverse Effects of Residual Levels of Preservatives and Active Whitening Agents from Wasterwater of Personal Care Products Industries


The present study was carried out to estimate the residual level of preservatives and active whitening agents from personal care products (PCPs) wastewater by using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) along with characterization of wastewater. Diverse types of pollutants are being detected in aqueous environment with PCPs and related compounds containing large variety of groups, including parent molecules and their respective metabolites. Intensive research is required on this subject to gain reliable information about their occurrence, fate and adverse effects on health. For this purpose, development of extremely sensitive analytical methods of determination in industrial wastewater samples are not only need of the hour but also a challenge. Liquid chromatography is an advanced analytical method for such pollutants. In this study, samples were collected from industrial sites located at distant points of Lahore and characterization was done through different parameters to illustrate wastewater quality. It has been found that values were within limits of National Environmental Quality Standard (NEQS) except for turbidity and total suspended solids (TSS) in some samples. Six preservatives including methylparaben, benzoic acid, salicylic acid, sodium benzoate, propylene glycol and formic acid along with five whitening agents like kojic acid, arbutin, ascorbic acid, nicotinamide and hydroquinone were quantified. It was interpreted that residues are present in almost all collected PCPs wastewater samples. The concentration of selected preservatives and active whitening agents in wastewater was ranged between 0.91–4.17 and 1.13–15.65 mg/L respectively. The most quantified concentrations were of methylparaben and sodium benzoate among preservative residues. In whitening agents, kojic acid and ascorbic acid were quantified in the highest concentrations.

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The authors wish to thank Mr Shahzill Naveed, student of A level, for his contribution in sampling and characterization of samples as volunteer.

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Correspondence to Muhammad Zaheer.

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Maria Latif, Jamil, N., Zaheer, M. et al. Occurrence, Fate and Adverse Effects of Residual Levels of Preservatives and Active Whitening Agents from Wasterwater of Personal Care Products Industries. J. Water Chem. Technol. 42, 465–471 (2020). https://doi.org/10.3103/S1063455X20060065

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  • personal care products
  • preservatives
  • active whitening agents
  • wastewater
  • HPLC