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Environ Sci Technol. 2011 Apr 1;45(7):2725-33. doi: 10.1021/es103429c. Epub 2011 Mar 8.

Behaviors of glucocorticoids, androgens and progestogens in a municipal sewage treatment plant: comparison to estrogens.

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MOE Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, People's Republic of China.


This work investigated the behaviors of seven glucocorticoids, eight androgens, and nine progestogens compared to six estrogens in a municipal sewage treatment plant (STP) in Beijing, China. Among all of the hormones considered, androgens were the dominant steroids detected in all samples (total concentrations up to 10 216±912 ng/L for influents, 171±10 ng/L for effluents, and 647±52 ng/g for dehydrated sludge samples), followed by estrogens (102±8 ng/L, 14±2 ng/L, and 14±1 ng/g), progestogens (57±6 ng/L, 8±2 ng/L, and 13±3 ng/g), and glucocorticoids (42±2 ng/L, 0.7±0.1 ng/L, and 1.2±0.3 ng/g). With the exception of 19-nor-4-androstene-3,17-diol (NAD, 67%), removal rates for androgens were relatively high (98-99%), while those for glucocorticoids, estrogens, and all progestogens except 6α-methylhydroxyprogesterone (MHPT) were 85-99%, 78-99%, and 73-96%, respectively. Glucocorticoids, androgens, and progestogens were mainly removed by degradation as with estrogens, while different behaviors were observed in the aerated grit chamber, anaerobic tank, anoxic tank, and aerobic tank units. Many of the detected glucocorticoids, androgens, and progestogens were eliminated in the anaerobic tank, but estrogens were largely degraded in the aerobic one. Significant increases in the mass of 21α-hydroxyprogesterone (21-HPT) and MHPT in the anaerobic tank and anoxic tank, respectively, were due to deconjugation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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