Publication of research report “Likelihood of three endocrine disrupting substances reaching drinking water”

EDCs are a diverse group of chemicals that have the potential to alter the normal functioning of the hormonal system across a wide range of wildlife and in humans (especially during early development). Their presence in a variety of applications and direct pathways for release to environment also means that EDCs could reach drinking water through typical use of EDC containing products. Continuous domestic release of many of these chemicals (particularly to wastewater systems) gives rise to pseudo-persistence in the environment, and they have frequently been found within the sewerage system and rivers. Peer-reviewed and grey literature verifies the occurrence of 17-Beta-estradiol (E2), Nonyl phenol (NP) and Bisphenol A (BPA) in both surface and groundwater. The rate of incidence of these three EDCs in wide scale surface/groundwater monitoring programmes such as the Chemical Investigation Programme (CIP) and BGS surveys suggests that their occurrence could be expected at low levels in drinking water sources across England and Wales. Limited information is currently available on concentrations of these substances in source/treated water or their removal using advanced drinking water treatment technologies. Thus, understanding the potential risk of compliance to proposed drinking water standards requires consideration. This project aims to close the knowledge gap on quantities of these substances used, their presence in surface and groundwater and the potential scale of the risk for drinking water across England and Wales.

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Published 7 July 2021
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