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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2008 Aug;80(2):183-98. doi: 10.1007/s00253-008-1548-5. Epub 2008 Jul 1.

Phthalates biodegradation in the environment.

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Division of Environmental Science and Engineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore.


Phthalates are synthesized in massive amounts to produce various plastics and have become widespread in environments following their release as a result of extensive usage and production. This has been of an environmental concern because phthalates are hepatotoxic, teratogenic, and carcinogenic by nature. Numerous studies indicated that phthalates can be degraded by bacteria and fungi under aerobic, anoxic, and anaerobic conditions. This paper gives a review on the biodegradation of phthalates and includes the following aspects: (1) the relationship between the chemical structure of phthalates and their biodegradability, (2) the biodegradation of phthalates by pure/mixed cultures, (3) the biodegradation of phthalates under various environments, and (4) the biodegradation pathways of phthalates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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