Phthalate Levels in Wastewater Treatment Plants of Lake Victoria Basin



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Applied Ecology and Environmental Sciences.


Phthalates are examples of EDCs, which have been used as plasticizers for longtime worldwide. However, their occurrence in these environments causes adverse effects such as congenital anomalies, endocrine disruption and chronic toxicity. Wastewater is the source of these phthalates in the environment. The main aim of this study was to determine the levels of dimethyl phthalate (DMP), benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP) and bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (BEHP) in wastewater sampled from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) of Nyalenda, Homabay and Kisii, in Kenya during wet and dry seasons. Thermos Scientific Dionex UltiMateTM 3000 HPLC system was used to analyze the residue levels at 0.004 and 0.005 mg/L limits of quantification during wet and dry seasons, respectively. Most sites sampled had detectable levels of DMP, BBP and BEHP. Higher concentrations were detected during wet season compared to dry season. At Nyalenda treatment plant, DMP was detected at 0.99 ± 0.0005 mg/L and 0.79 ± 0.0005 mg/L at the inlet sampling point during the wet and dry seasons, respectively. The concentrations detected were high at the inlet and lowest at the outlet sampling points. The residue levels obtained showed significant differences at 5% confidence limits with Zcalculated for DMP at Nyalenda, Homabay and Kisii WWTPs obtained as 0.2650, 0.2183 and 0.1983, respectively. These Z-score values (Zcalculated) were less than the critical value (Zcritical = 1.96). Similar observations were observed with BBP and BEHP.