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Sci Total Environ. 2013 Oct 1;463-464:182-91. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.05.013. Epub 2013 Jun 24.

Efficiencies of freshwater and estuarine constructed wetlands for phenolic endocrine disruptor removal in Taiwan.

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  • 1Dept. of Environmental Science and Engineering, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, Pingtung 91201, Taiwan. Electronic address:


We examined the distribution and removal efficiencies of phenolic endocrine disruptors (EDs), namely nonylphenol diethoxylates (NP2EO), nonylphenol monoethoxylates (NP1EO), nonylphenol (NP), and octylphenol (OP), in wastewater treated by estuarine and freshwater constructed wetland systems in Dapeng Bay National Scenic Area (DBNSA) and along the Dahan River in Taiwan. Water samples were taken bimonthly at 30 sites in three estuarine constructed wetlands (Datan, Pengcun and Linbian right bank (A and B)) in DBNSA, for eight sampling campaigns. The average removal efficiencies were in the range of 3.13-97.3% for wetlands in DBNSA. The highest average removal occurred in the east inlet to the outlet of the Tatan wetland. The most frequently detected compound was OP (57.7%), whose concentration was up to 1458.7 ng/L in DBNSA. NP was seen in only 20.5% of the samples. The temporal variation of EDs showed a decrease across seasons, where summer>spring>winter>autumn in these constructed wetlands. The removal efficiencies of EDs by estuarine wetlands, in decreasing order, were Datan>Pengcun>Linbian right bank in DBNSA. Water samples collected at 18 sites in three freshwater constructed wetlands (Daniaopi, Hsin-Hai I, and Hsin-Hai II) along the riparian area of Dahan River. NP2EO was the most abundant compound, with a concentration of up to 11,200 ng/L. Removal efficiencies ranged from 55% to 91% for NP1EO, NP2EO, and NP in Hsin-Hai I. The average removal potential of EDs in freshwater constructed wetlands, in decreasing order, was Hsin-Hai II>Daniaopi>Hsin-Hai I constructed wetlands. The lowest concentrations of the selected compounds were observed in the winter. The highest removal efficiency of the selected phenolic endocrine disruptors was achieved by Hsin-Hai I wetland. The calculated risk quotients used to evaluate the ecological risk were up to 30 times higher in the freshwater wetlands along Dahan River than in the estuarine (DBNSA) constructed wetlands, indicating that existing concentrations of these EDs in wetland systems pose a high ecological risk to aquatic organisms. The decreasing risk quotient from influent to effluent indicates that phenolic endocrine disruptors can be treated in these constructed wetlands. Our results of this research can serve as a preliminary understanding on the ED removal efficiencies in different types of constructed wetlands.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Alkylphenolic compounds; Constructed wetland; Ecotoxicological risk assessment; Endocrine-disrupting chemicals

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