Potential formation of PCDD/Fs in triclosan wastewater treatment: An overall toxicity assessment under a life cycle approach.


Departamento de Ingenierías Química y Biomolecular, ETSIIyT, Universidad de Cantabria, Avda. de los Castros, 39005 Santander, Spain. Electronic address: [Email]


Wastewater may contain a diverse group of unregulated pollutants known as emerging pollutants, such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs). Triclosan (TCS) is a personal care product widely used as an antiseptic or preservative in cosmetics, hand wash, toothpaste and deodorant soaps. Advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) have been used as effective and alternative treatments for complex wastewater. However, an important criterion for the assessment of AOPs and their operation conditions could be the potential formation of new toxic secondary products, such as polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and furans (PCDD/Fs), especially when emerging pollutants are present in the media. If these are omitted from environmental management studies, the real environmental impacts of a WWTPs (wastewater treatment plants) may be underestimated. Consequently, the current study aims to evaluate the environmental impacts derived from electrooxidation (EOX), one of the most effective oxidation technologies, of emerging pollutants using Life Cycle Assessment. The analyses were performed for the treatment of effluents containing TCS, firstly without considering the formation of PCDD/Fs and, thereafter, considering the effects of these compounds. Total toxicity, calculated through different methods and corresponding impact factors, were evaluated for each stage of the process when different electrolytes are used, including PCDD/Fs formation. Finally, a sensitivity analysis was carried out to study i) the effect of the TCS initial concentration on the environmental impacts associated to ecotoxicity for the different life cycle methods and ii) the influence of changing the organic pollutant on PCDD/Fs formation employing 2-chlorophenol (2-CP). As a result, LCIA methods demonstrate that they are not fully adapted to the computation of PCDD/Fs in the water compartment, since only 2,3,7,8-tetraclorodibenzo-p-dioxina (2,3,7,8-TCDD) is present as a substance in the impact categories assessed, ignoring the remaining list of PCDD/Fs.


EPA method,Electrochemical oxidation (EOX),Emerging pollutants,Life Cycle Assessment,Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/furans (PCDD/Fs),Toxicity,

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