Endocrine-disruptive chemicals as contaminants of emerging concern in wastewater and surface water: A review


Population growth followed by rapid development of industrialisation has caused serious environmental pollution with contaminants of emerging concern found in wastewater and surface water. As one of the most important resources for human survival, water is daily polluted by endocrine-disruptive chemicals (EDCs) including pharmaceuticals and personal care products, organic pollutants and heavy metals. Even at low concentrations in water bodies, chronic exposure to EDCs can cause adverse effects on human and environment health. The main concern with EDCs is the diseases they can generate in humans or wildlife by affecting the function of hormones in the body. Problems in the reproductive system, thyroid problems, Alzheimer’s, cancer and obesity are some of the major effects of EDCs in humans. In wildlife, the reproductive system may be affected, including its levels of hatchability and vitellogenin. The efforts of the present review are on emphasising on the environmental concern on the occurrence and risk assessment of EDCs, their harmful effects in the ecosystem, human life, and wildlife, as a result of their incomplete removal from wastewater treatment plants. The review focuses on studies conducted in South Africa highlights the use of fungal bioreactors as a low-cost and eco-effective environmentally friendly wastewater treatment processes.

Authors: Teddy Kabeya Kasonga, Martie A A Coetzee, Ilunga Kamika, Veronica M Ngole-Jeme, Maggy Ndombo Benteke Momba
; Full Source: Journal of environmental management 2020 Oct 10;277:111485. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2020.111485.