Analysis of Endocrine Disruptors Compounds in Wastewater Treatment Plants from USA-Mexico Border: A Perspective of Trans-Boundary Water Pollution

Roberto De La Torre
Wen-Yee Lee, University of Texas at El Paso


The impacts of endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs), such as estrogens, alkylphenol (APEOS) and bisphenol A (BPA) from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) discharge are of great concern especially when the treatments are not adequate and two countries share the same resources. The concentrations, estrogenicities, and removal rate were investigated by chemical analysis (Stir Bar-TDU-GCMS) and chemiluminescent yeast assay in WWTPs from El Paso, TX/Mexico border. Concentrations in effluent were 200% to 8000% higher in Mexico for the majority of the EDCs in study compared to the plants in El Paso. APEOS were the compounds with the higher concentration detected in effluents ranging from non-detected to 52,318 ng/L. BPA and estrogen levels in effluent water were below 581.6 ng/L and 65.2 ng/L. respectively. Estrogenicity levels in effluent samples from Mexico were 41% to 82% higher than WWTPs in El Paso. The removals of EDCs in WWTPs in El Paso ranged from 27.9% to non-detected and in Mexico from no removal to than 63.9%. Estrogenic activity removal ranged from 18% to 78.4% in WWTPs in El Paso and insignificant removal was determined in plants from Mexico ranging from no removal to 53.4%. Based on our observation, WWTPs in Mexico need to upgrade their treatment infrastructure in order to reduce the impacts of contaminants from wastewater effluent.