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Introduction: Personal Care Products in the Aquatic Environment

Part of the The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry book series (HEC,volume 36)

Abstract

This chapter presents an overview of the main aspects relating to the occurrence and impact of ingredients in personal care products to the aquatic environment: methodologies of analysis, prevalence data, elimination processes, threats to the aquatic ecosystem, effects on biota and legislation with a special focus in European regulation. Water is a valuable resource for the environment as well as for human activities. Although it covers most of the Earth’s surface, the amount of usable water is finite. Since ancient times until now, the use of water in human activities has been rapidly increasing along with the increase of the population, producing a continuous release of pollutants into the aquatic environment. Personal care products are a widely used group of substances that have been raising concerns during the last decades due to its continuous release into the environment and its proven effects (mostly on in vitro and in vivo assays) as a threat to all kinds of living organisms. Recent studies suggest that its continuous application on the skin or the intake of contaminated food may cause some concerning hazardous effects in human beings. In order to ensure the protection of this key ecosystem, a series of worldwide initiatives have been taking place during the last two decades, impelling monitoring programmes and governmental regulations worldwide. The common grounds of the European Union establish a series of regulations, such as the Water Framework Directive or the Regulation on Cosmetic Products, to protect both the environment and the consumer with revisable lists of regulated hazardous compounds.

Keywords

  • Aquatic environment
  • Environmental legislation
  • Health risk
  • Personal care products
  • Pollution sources

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Abbreviations

4MBC:

4-methylbenzylidiene camphor

AHTN:

Tonalide

BP3:

Benzophenone 3

BP4:

Benzophenone 4

DEET:

N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide

EHMC:

Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate

EMEA:

European medicine evaluation agency

EPA:

Environmental protection agency

HHCB:

Galaxolide

INCI:

International nomenclature of cosmetic ingredients

Kow:

Octanol-water partition coefficient

NP:

Nonylphenol

NPEs:

Nonylphenol ethoxylates

OC:

Octocrylene

OTNE:

Ethanone

PCPs:

Personal care products

PVC:

Polyvinyl chloride

REACH:

Registration, evaluation, authorisation and restrictions of chemicals

UV234:

2-(2H-benzotriazol-2-yl)-4,6-bis(1-methyl-1-phenylethyl)phenol

UV326:

2-tert-buthyl-6-(5-chloro-2H-benzotriazol-2-yl)-4-methylphenol

UVP:

2-(2H-benzotriazol-2-yl)-p-cresol

WFD:

Water framework directive

WWF:

World water forum

WWTPs:

Wastewater treatment plant

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Acknowledgments

This work has been financially supported by the Generalitat de Catalunya (Consolidated Research Groups “2014 SGR 418 - Water and Soil Quality Unit”).

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Molins-Delgado, D., Díaz-Cruz, M.S., Barceló, D. (2014). Introduction: Personal Care Products in the Aquatic Environment. In: Díaz‐Cruz, M., Barceló, D. (eds) Personal Care Products in the Aquatic Environment. The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry, vol 36. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/698_2014_302

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