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Occurrence and Environmental Behavior of the Bactericide Triclosan and Its Methyl Derivative in Surface Waters and in Wastewater
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Chemistry.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Chemistry.
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2002 (English)In: Environmental Science & Technology, Vol. 36, no 11, 2322-9 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The bactericide triclosan and methyl triclosan, an environmental transformation product thereof, were detected in lakes and in a river in Switzerland at concentrations of up to 74 and 2 ng L-1, respectively. Both compounds were emitted via wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), with methyl triclosan probably being formed by biological methylation. A regional mass balance for a lake (Greifensee) indicated significant removal of triclosan by processes other than flushing. Laboratory experiments showed that triclosan in the dissociated form was rapidly decomposed in lake water when exposed to sunlight (half-life less than 1 h in August at 47 latitude). Methyl triclosan and nondissociated triclosan, however, were relatively stable toward photodegradation. Modeling these experimental data for the situation of lake Greifensee indicated that photodegradation can account for the elimination of triclosan from the lake and suggested a seasonal dependence of the concentrations (lower in summer, higher in winter), consistent with observed concentrations. Although emissions of methyl triclosan from WWTPs were only 2% relative to those of triclosan, its predicted concentration relative to triclosan in the epilimnion of the lake increases to 30% in summer. Passive sampling with semipermeable membrane devices (SPMDs) indicated the presence of methyl triclosan in lakes with inputs from anthropogenic sources but not in a remote mountain lake. Surprisingly, no parent triclosan was observed in the SPMDs from these lakes. Methyl triclosan appears to be preferentially accumulated in SPMDs under the conditions in these lakes, leading to concentrations comparable to those of persistent chlorinated organic pollutants.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2002. Vol. 36, no 11, 2322-9 p.
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-8809DOI: doi:10.1021/es0114254OAI: diva2:148480
Available from: 2008-02-14 Created: 2008-02-14 Last updated: 2011-01-13Bibliographically approved

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