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Sci Total Environ. 1999 Feb 16;227(1):41-7.

Distribution of 1,4-dioxane in relation to possible sources in the water environment.

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Kanagawa Environmental Research Center, Japan.


The distribution of 1,4-dioxane was investigated in surface and groundwater in relation to possible sources. Water samples from river, coastal sea, and groundwater were collected and examined in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, from 1995 to 1998. Almost all samples were contaminated by 1,4-dioxane. On annual changes, the concentrations did not vary significantly in river water. However, some samples were still heavily polluted in groundwater. The highest correlation was between the concentration of 1,4-dioxane and 1,1,1-trichloroethane in the polluted groundwater samples. Soil and groundwater that was polluted by 1,1,1-trichloroethane in the past is still a possible source of 1,4-dioxane. In regard to a survey of other sources, effluents from the combined collection treatment from apartment houses, river basin sewage systems, and chemical plants were examined. The load unit of 1,4-dioxane from the treated effluent of domestic wastewater was assumed to be approximately 0.25 mg/person/day. This was derived from commonly used household chemicals, which contained 1,4-dioxane as a by-product. In river basin sewage systems, the concentrations in effluents varied significantly. High concentration inflows were probably not degraded and released. Although 50-60% of removal was recognized in acclimatized activated sludge from a chemical plant, 1,4-dioxane was easily desorbed with water from sludge.

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