This paper demonstrates that synthetic endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) (e.g. bisphenol-A) and natural EDCs (e.g. estrone and 17β-estradiol) were found in the crude sewage from two sewage treatment works. Conventional biological processes can lower EDC concentrations to several hundred nanograms per litre. Because natural EDCs (e.g. estrone and 17β1-estradiol) have biological activity and an adverse impact on the environment at extremely low concentrations (several tens of nanograms per litre), and because the existing wastewater/sewage treatment processes are not adequate to reduce natural EDC concentrations lower than 100ngL−1, further treatment after conventional biological processes is required. Preliminary trials with ferrate(VI) and electrochemical oxidation processes demonstrated that the former is more effective than the latter in reducing EDC concentrations, and that both the processes can effectively reduce EDCs to very low levels, ranging between 20 and 100ngL−1.

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