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Journal of Water and Health Vol 07 No 2 pp 224–243 © IWA Publishing 2009 doi:10.2166/wh.2009.021

Endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) and pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in the aquatic environment: implications for the drinking water industry and global environmental health

M. F. Rahman, E. K. Yanful and S. Y. Jasim

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of Western Ontario, Spencer Engineering Building, 1151 Richmond Street, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5B9, E-mail: mrahma49@uwo.ca
Walkerton Clean Water Centre, 220 Trillium Court, Building 3, Walkerton, Ontario, Canada N0G 2V0


Endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) and pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) are a group of chemical compounds with diverse physical and chemical properties. Recent studies have indicated undesired effects of EDCs and PPCPs at their reported trace concentrations (ng l-1 to mg l-1). This paper reviews the current knowledge on the sources, properties, occurrence and health impacts of EDCs and PPCPs, and their removal from drinking water using ozonation and ozone/hydrogen peroxide-based advanced oxidation. The paper also examines the potential threats posed by these chemicals to drinking water and public health. While these compounds are known to have adverse effects on ecosystem health, notably in the fish population, a similar link is yet to be established between ingestion of these compounds through drinking water and human health. In addition, data on the effectiveness of existing methods for the removal of these compounds are not conclusive. Further studies are required to characterize risks, and also to evaluate and optimize existing removal processes. Also concerted international effort is urgent to cut down the risk of exposure and restrain the production and marketing of toxic chemicals.

Keywords: advanced ozonation; drinking water; EDCs; environmental health; PPCPs

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