The methods of identification, analysis, and removal of endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) in water

J Hazard Mater. 2009 Dec 15;172(1):1-12. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2009.06.135. Epub 2009 Jul 3.


The information regarding endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) was reviewed, including the definition and characteristics, the recent research trends concerning identification and analytical methods, and the applicable removal processes. EDCs include various types of natural and synthetic chemical compounds presenting the mimicking or inhibition of the reproductive action of the endocrine system in animals and humans. The ubiquitous presence with trace level concentrations and the wide diversity are the reported characteristics of EDCs. Biologically based assays seem to be a promising method for the identification of EDCs. On the other hand, mass-based analytical methods show excellent sensitivity and precision for their quantification. Several extraction techniques for the instrumental analysis have been developed since they are crucial in determining overall analytical performances. Conventional treatment techniques, including coagulation, precipitation, and activated sludge processes, may not be highly effective in removing EDCs, while the advanced treatment options, such as granular activated carbon (GAC), membrane, and advanced oxidation processes (AOPs), have shown satisfactory results. The oxidative degradation of some EDCs was associated with aromatic moieties in their structure. Further studies on EDCs need to be conducted, such as source reduction, limiting exposure to vulnerable populations, treatment or remediation of contaminated sites, and the detailed understanding of transport mechanisms in the environment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adsorption
  • Animals
  • Biological Assay / methods*
  • Endocrine Disruptors / analysis
  • Endocrine Disruptors / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Oxygen / chemistry
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Waste Disposal, Fluid / methods*
  • Water / chemistry
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis*
  • Water Purification / methods*


  • Endocrine Disruptors
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Water
  • Oxygen