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Pure Appl. Chem., 2003, Vol. 75, No. 11-12, pp. 1895-1904

Endocrine active industrial chemicals: Release and occurrence in the environment

A. Johnson and M. Jürgens

Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford, OX10 8BB, UK

Abstract: Of the xenobiotic endocrine active substances (EASs), tributyltin (TBT) has had the clearest link to an impact on aquatic ecology. Its release from marine antifouling paints had a drastic impact on dogwhelk populations in polluted harbors due to a masculization effect. 4-tert-nonylphenol is seen as the most significant of the industrial xenobiotic estrogen mimics, being implicated as the dominant endocrine disruptor in certain industrialized river reaches. Apart from hot spots associated with particular industries, the estrogenic alkylphenols, phthalates, and bisphenol A are present in effluent and receiving water at concentrations below that which would give cause for concern. Other more bioaccumulative compounds such as polybrominated flame retardants, dioxins, furans may possess some endocrine active properties. The possibility of additivity effects may yet mean that low concentrations of xenobiotic EASs will need careful consideration. It is noted that considerable quantities of many of these compounds are often found in sewage sludge and sediments.