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The Science of the total environment

Occurrence and fate of parabens and their metabolites in five sewage treatment plants in India.


PMID 28360009

Abstract

Parabens (p-hydroxy benzoic acid esters) are antimicrobial agents, used widely as preservatives in personal care products (PCPs), pharmaceuticals, foods, and beverages. PCPs that contain parabens are a major source of these chemicals in sewage treatment plants (STPs). Very few studies have demonstrated the occurrence of parabens in wastewater. In this study, the occurrence and fate of six parabens, methyl-(MeP), ethyl-(EtP), propyl-(PrP), butyl-(BuP), hepty-(HpP) and benzyl-(BzP) parabens, and five of their metabolites (4-HB, 3,4-DHB, OH-MeP, OH-EtP and BA) were studied in five STPs in India. The concentrations of parent parabens (∑6parent parabens) in five STPs ranged between 131 and 920ng/L in influent; 16 and 67ng/L in effluent; and 104 and 1090ng/g, dry weight, in sludge samples. The sum concentrations of five paraben metabolites (∑5paraben metabolites) in five STPs ranged between 4110 and 34,600ng/L in influent; 2560 and 3800ng/L in effluent; and 1220 and 35,900ng/g, dry weight, in sludge samples. These values were higher than those reported for many industrialized countries. We calculated the mass loadings, removal efficiencies, and environmental emissions of parabens based on the measured concentrations in influents, effluents, and sludge. The mean removal efficiencies of parent parabens and their metabolites ranged from 80% to 100% and 28% to 76%, respectively.

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