Bioconcentration of triclosan, methyl-triclosan, and triclocarban in the plants and sediments of a constructed wetland.

PMID 22483729


Constructed wetlands are a potential method for the removal of two pharmaceutical and personal care products from wastewater effluent. Triclosan (TCS; 5-chloro-2-[2,4-dichlorophenoxy]phenol) and triclocarban (TCC; 3,4,4'-trichlorocarbanillide) are antimicrobial agents added to a variety of consumer products whose accumulation patterns in constructed wetlands are poorly understood. Here, we report the accumulation of TCS, its metabolite methyl-triclosan (MTCS; 5-chloro-2-[2,4-dichlorophenoxy]), and TCC in wetland plant tissues and sediments. Three wetland macrophytes: Typha latifolia, Pontederia cordata, and Sagittaria graminea were sampled from a constructed wetland in Denton, Texas, USA. MTCS concentrations were below the method detection limit (MDL) for all species. TCS root tissue concentrations in T. latifolia were significantly greater than root concentrations in P. cordata (mean±SE in ng g(-1): 40.3±11.3 vs. 15.0±1.9, respectively), while for TCC, shoot tissue concentrations in S. graminea were significantly greater than in T. latifolia (22.8±9.3 vs. 9.0 (MDL), respectively). For both TCS and TCC, T. latifolia root tissue concentrations were significantly greater than shoot concentrations (TCS: 40.3±11.3 vs. 17.2±0.2, TCC: 26.0±3.6 vs. 9.0, (MDL)). TCC concentrations in P. cordata roots were significantly greater than in shoots (34.4±5.3 vs. 15.4±2.8, respectively). TCS concentrations in T. latifolia roots and sediments and TCC concentrations in sediments generally decreased from wetland inflow to outflow. To our knowledge, this is the first study documenting species and tissue specific differences in the accumulation of TCS and TCC in plants from an operational constructed wetland. The species specific differences in bioaccumulation suggest TCS and TCC removal from constructed wetlands could be enhanced through targeted plantings.