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Reviews on Environmental Health

Editor-in-Chief: Carpenter, David O. / Sly, Peter

Editorial Board Member: Brugge, Doug / Diaz-Barriga, Fernando / Edwards, John W. / Field, R.William / Hales, Simon / Horowitz, Michal / Maibach, H.I. / Shaw, Susan / Stein, Renato / Tao, Shu / Tchounwou, Paul B.

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Effects of 17β-estradiol (E2) on aqueous organisms and its treatment problem: a review

Emad Nazari
  • Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia, Phone: +601114322098
  • :
/ Fatihah Suja
  • Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
Published Online: 2016-11-24 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/reveh-2016-0040


Natural estrogens, estrone (E1), 17β-estradiol (E2) and estriol (E3) are endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that are discharged consistently and directly into surface waters with wastewater treatment plants (WWPTs) effluents, disposal sludges and in storm-water runoff. The most common and highest potential natural estrogen that causes estrogen activity in wastewater influent is E2. This review describes and attempts to summarize the main problems involved in the removal of E2 from WWTP by traditional processes, which fundamentally rely on activated sludge and provide an insufficient treatment for E2, as well as advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) that are applied in tertiary section treatment works. Biological processes affect and play an important role in the degradation of E2. However, some investigations have reported that operations that rely on high retention times have low efficiencies. Although advanced treatment technologies are available, their cost and operational considerations do not make them sustainable solutions. Therefore, E2 is still being released into aqueous areas, as shown in this study that investigates results from different countries. E2 is present on the watch list of substances in the Water Framework Directive (WFD) of the European Union since 2013 and the minimum acceptable concentration of it is 0.4 ng/L.

Keywords: advanced oxidation processes (AOPs); aqueous area; degradation; endocrine disruption; 17β-estradiol (E2); wastewater treatment plant

Received: 2016-08-09

Accepted: 2016-10-13

Published Online: 2016-11-24

Published in Print: 2016-12-01

Funding Source: Ministry of Higher Education

Award identifier / Grant number: RGS/1/2015/SG05/UKM/02/4

The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) Malaysia for providing the research grant RGS/1/2015/SG05/UKM/02/4, without which the present study could not have been completed.

Citation Information: Reviews on Environmental Health. Volume 31, Issue 4, Pages 465–491, ISSN (Online) 2191-0308, ISSN (Print) 0048-7554, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/reveh-2016-0040, November 2016

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