Review: Pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) as endocrine disrupting contaminants (EDCs) in South African surface waters

We present for the first time in a South African context, a summarised list of pharmaceuticals and personal care products and other endocrine disrupting contaminants detected to date within South African water systems, as well as their possible endocrine-disrupting effect in-vitro and in-vivo

Edward Archer; Gideon M. Wolfaardt; Johannes H. Van Wyk


Scholarcy highlights

  • Fresh water is an essential resource for the survival of all life on earth
  • The 2013 Green Drop report has shown an improvement in the overall CCRs of the assessed wastewater treatment works for the 2012/13 year, it was still estimated that 49.6% of the WWTWs are still below 50% compliance
  • Several in-vitro and in-vivo toxicological studies have shown the potential of pharmaceuticals and personal care products to alter endocrine system pathways, and many of these compounds have been detected within South African environmental waters and WWTW effluents
  • Some of the endocrine-disrupting effects shown above may only occur at high levels of exposure to these non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, it is important to note that a mixture of different pharmaceuticals and other contaminants might accumulate in the water system
  • Several compounds used as UV filters in sunscreens, such as benzophenones, benzedrone, and octyl methoxycinnamate have been shown to agonistically bind to the human oestrogen receptor in human cell-based bioassays, and to increase VTG production in female rats and male fish species
  • Based on the current status of micro-pollutant understanding and analyses described in this review, it is evident that there is a large source of information available which can aid in the prioritisation of emerging contaminants for environmental risk assessment

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