Study reveals ecological threat of trace organic pollutants in China’s wastewater effluents

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Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are good at cleaning up common pollutants but often miss tiny amounts of other harmful substances, known as trace organic pollutants.

These pollutants are found in very small amounts but can stick around for a long time, build up in living things, and be very harmful to both nature and people’s health. They include a variety of dangerous chemicals like bisphenol (used in plastics) and perfluoroalkyl substances (used in non-stick coatings), which are not well-monitored, especially in less developed areas. Even with better technology to detect these substances, there hasn’t been a detailed country-wide study.

A pivotal study featured in Eco-Environment & Health has revealed considerable ecological threats from trace  found in the effluents of WWTPs throughout China. The researchers conducted a thorough investigation into the presence and ecological dangers of various pollutants in these effluents, offering vital information that enhances our understanding of environmental health and safety.

This¬†¬†analyzed 302 trace organic pollutants across 46 WWTPs in China, detecting 216 compounds from 11 chemical classes. Advanced techniques like HPLC-MS/MS and GC‚ÄďMS/MS were employed to quantify pollutants, revealing perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) and bisphenol analogs (BPs) as major contributors, accounting for 59% of total pollution.

 

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