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Occurrence and Biodegradation of Nonylphenol in the Environment

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Author(s): Zhen Mao | Xiao-Fei Zheng | Yan-Qiu Zhang | Xiu-Xiang Tao | Yan Li | Wei Wang

Journal: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
ISSN 1422-0067

Volume: 13;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 491;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: nonylphenol | endocrine disruptors | occurrence | biodegradation | water

ABSTRACT
Nonylphenol (NP) is an ultimate degradation product of nonylphenol polyethoxylates (NPE) that is primarily used in cleaning and industrial processes. Its widespread use has led to the wide existence of NP in various environmental matrices, such as water, sediment, air and soil. NP can be decreased by biodegradation through the action of microorganisms under aerobic or anaerobic conditions. Half-lives of biodegradation ranged from a few days to almost one hundred days. The degradation rate for NP was influenced by temperature, pH and additions of yeast extracts, surfactants, aluminum sulfate, acetate, pyruvate, lactate, manganese dioxide, ferric chloride, sodium chloride, hydrogen peroxide, heavy metals, and phthalic acid esters. Although NP is present at low concentrations in the environment, as an endocrine disruptor the risks of long-term exposure to low concentrations remain largely unknown. This paper reviews the occurrence of NP in the environment and its aerobic and anaerobic biodegradation in natural environments and sewage treatment plants, which is essential for assessing the potential risk associated with low level exposure to NP and other endocrine disruptors.
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