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Bioresour Technol. 2008 Jun;99(9):3458-67. Epub 2007 Sep 18.

Application of the OECD 301F respirometric test for the biodegradability assessment of various potential endocrine disrupting chemicals.

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  • 1Department of Environment, Water and Air Quality Laboratory, University of the Aegean, University Hill, Mytilene 81 100, Greece.


The biodegradability of several potential endocrine disrupting compounds, namely 4-n-nonylphenol (4-n-NP), nonylphenol monoethoxylate (NP1EO), nonylphenol diethoxylate (NP2EO), bisphenol A (BPA), triclosan (TCS), di-(2-ethylhexyl)-phthalate (DEHP), perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) and perfluorononanoate (PFNA) was evaluated in this study, using OECD method 301F (manometric respirometry test) and activated sludge as inoculum. According to the results, 4-n-NP and BPA meet the strict definition of ready biodegradability and they are not expected to be persistent during the activated sludge process. Partial biodegradation was observed for DEHP (58.7+/-5.7%, n=3), TCS (52.1+/-8.5%, n=3) and NP1EO (25.9+/-8.1%, n=3), indicating their possible biodegradation in wastewater treatment systems, while no biodegradation was observed for NP2EO, PFOA and PFNA. Experiments in the co-presence of a readily biodegradable compound showed the absence of co-metabolic phenomena during 4-n-NP, BPA and TCS biodegradation. Using first order kinetics to describe biodegradation of the target compounds, half-lives of 4.3+/-0.6, 1.3+/-0.2, 1.8+/-0.5, 6.9+/-2.6 days were calculated for 4-n-NP, BPA, TCS and DEHP, respectively. Toxicity tests using marine bacterium Vibrio fischeri showed that biodegradation of 4-n-NP, NP1EO, BPA and TCS is a simultaneous detoxification process, while possible abiotic or biotic transformations of NP2EO, DEHP, PFOA and PFNA during respirometric test resulted to significant increase of their toxicities.

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