Over the past 20 years, water suppliers have become increasingly interested in endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) and their negative environmental and health impacts.
EDCs are a very large and diverse collection of chemical substances, which cause developmental disorders, such as sexual development problems, in aquatic organisms. They are considered substances of very high concern (SVHC) in the EU’s regulations on chemicals and their safe use (REACH) and are regarded as main pollutants within the Water Framework Directive.
Urban wastewaters contain a high number of emerging trace organics chemicals and a large number of studies have investigated the removal of individual or specific groups of micro pollutants by various treatment processes. However, little is known about how these treatment processes change the composition and biological activity of the micro pollutants (EDCs) and thus the impact on aquatic ecosystems and human health. No exhaustive list or regulatory thresholds have yet been defined for EDCs.