Occurrence of endocrine disrupting compounds and pharmaceuticals in 11 WWTPs in Seoul, Korea

Jaena Ryu, Yeomin Yoon, Jeill Oh

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49 Scopus citations


The occurrence of thirty-one selected Endocrine Disrupting Compounds (EDCs) and Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) was analyzed in eleven major municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTPs) in Seoul, Korea over two consecutive days. The area was selected since there was a lack of information in the Seoul area on the suspected contamination of wastewater effluents by micropollutants. Discharge from those major WWTPs accounted for approximately 25% of the Han River flow where over 99% of drinking water is produced from surface waters in this area that has a population approximately 15 million inhabitants. Samples collected in WWTP effluents were analyzed by Liquid Chromatography with tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) with Electrospray Ionization (ESI) and Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Ionization (APCI). Many target compounds were detected in the effluent samples (66%). Atenolol, iopromide, TCPP, TCEP, musk ketone, naproxen, DEET, carbamazepine, trimethoprim, sulfamethoxazole, and benzophenone were frequently detected in effluent samples with mean concentrations ranging from 98 to 663 ng/L (maximum = 230-1,700 ng/L). However, the steroid hormones (17α-ethynylestradiol, progesterone, and testosterone), atrazine (herbicide), and octylphenol (surfactant) were not detected in all the samples. Results of this study can provide evidence that WWTP effluent is one of the major sources contaminating the Han River.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-64
Number of pages8
JournalKSCE Journal of Civil Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2011

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2011, Springer Verlag. All rights reserved.


  • Endocrine disrupting compounds
  • Personal care products
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Wastewater
  • Wastewater treatment plant


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