Determination and assessment of estradiol-mimicking compounds in the dissolved and particulate phases of wastewater treatment plant samples

J AOAC Int. Jul-Aug 2012;95(4):1195-204. doi: 10.5740/jaoacint.11-219.


During the last two decades, a large number of publications have clearly shown that anthropogenic compounds that disrupt the endocrine system of wildlife species are a major cause for concern, and this concern has led to a demand for new screening methods. In this work, we have optimized and applied a new method to identify endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), such as nonylphenol, octylphenol, and their corresponding ethoxylates, 17alpha-ethynylestradiol, bisphenol-A, 17beta-estradiol, and estriol, in sewage samples. For the extraction and preconcentration of all analytes from the dissolved and particulate phases, we used SPE and ultrasonic assisted extraction, respectively. Identification and quantification were achieved by HPLC with fluorescence detection. Satisfactory LODs (between 0.5 and 7.6 ng/L in the dissolved phase and 12.3 and 21.4 ng/g in the particulate phase) and analyte recoveries (between 67 and 102%) were achieved for the target compounds. The optimized method was applied to the determination of EDCs in liquid sewage samples collected from July 2009 to July 2010 from a wastewater treatment plant in Las Palmas de G.C. (Spain). Concentrations of EDCs ranged from <10 to nearly 1300 ng/L in the dissolved phase, and from 0.1 to 7.7 microg/g in the suspended particulate matter.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chemistry Techniques, Analytical / methods*
  • Chromatography / methods
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods
  • Estradiol / analysis*
  • Models, Chemical
  • Models, Statistical
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sewage
  • Spain
  • Time Factors
  • Ultrasonics
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis*
  • Water Purification / methods*


  • Sewage
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Estradiol