RESEARCH ARTICLE


Removal of Endocrine Disruptors from Urban Wastewater by Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOPs): A Review



Alessandra Cesaro*, Vincenzo Belgiorno
SEED - Sanitary Environmental Engineering Division, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Salerno, via Giovanni Paolo II, 84084 Fisciano (SA), Italy


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Creative Commons License
© Cesaro and Belgiorno; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/legalcode), which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the SEED - Sanitary Environmental Engineering Division, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Salerno, via Giovanni Paolo II, 84084 Fisciano (SA), Italy; Tel: +39 089 96 4181; Fax: +39 089 96 9620; Email: acesaro@unisa.it


Abstract

Over the last years the growing presence of endocrine disrupting compounds in the environment has been regarded as a serious sanitary issue. The more and more frequent detection of these compounds in the effluents of wastewater treatment plants poses the risk associated to their persistence into the aquatic systems as well as to their adverse effects on both public health and environment.

As conventional systems do not allow their efficient removal, great attention has been raised towards their possible treatment by Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOPs). They rely on the action of hydroxyl radicals, which are highly reactive species, able to oxidize recalcitrant and non-biodegradable pollutants.

AOPs can either provide contaminant partial degradation or their complete removal. As their effectiveness has been proved for a wide spectrum of both organic and inorganic pollutants, they are considered a suitable option for the treatment of contaminated aqueous media, especially when combined with conventional biological processes.

This paper aims at reviewing main AOPs for the removal of endocrine disruptors, in order to highlight the most important features of different technologies, thus providing their comparative assessment. To this end, a brief overview of the most frequently detected endocrine disruptor compounds was also discussed, in order to clarify their fate into the environment as well as the contamination pathways of greatest concern for human health.

Keywords: By-products, combined process, cost, endocrine disruptors, risk, technology.