The presence of residual pharmaceuticals and environmental endocrine disrupters (EEDs) is increasingly significant due to their impact on human health and wildlife. Of the compounds implicated as EEDs, the most potent in their oestrogenic effect are the natural and synthetic oestrogens. As these compounds will be present in the sewage matrix, it is necessary to establish their fate during sewage treatment with a view of removal and safe disposal to avoid unnecessary exposure. Using methodology developed by the author this paper describes the results of a study undertaken to determine both the Kow and the adsorption characteristics of these oestrogens. The experimental values obtained were compared to a computational default model. However, there was disparity between the default model and the values determined experimentally. This was especially the case in the determination of the Koc which impacts directly on the sludge adsorbance potential. The calculated results ranged from log 4.21 for β-oestradiol to log 4.68 for 17α-EE-3-ME, the experimental results were higher log(5.04-log 5.83), respectively. The implications of the findings in terms of water recycling and sewage sludge disposal are also discussed.
- adsorption isotherm
- soil–water partition coefficient
- organic-carbon partition coefficient
- octanol–water partition coefficient
- bioconcentration factor
- sewage treatment