John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Triclosan occurrence in freshwater systems in the United States (1999‐2012): A meta‐analysis

Recently, concern has grown regarding the presence of triclosan (TCS) in waters because of its potential for causing ecological and human health effects. We present a statistical analysis of TCS concentrations reported between 1999 and 2012 in freshwater environments in the United States and provide a comparison to available health‐based and aquatic guidance values. Data from 44 peer‐reviewed and unpublished investigations from 45 states and one U.S. territory were included in the meta‐analysis encompassing the following coded water types: untreated (raw wastewater), effluent (wastewater treatment plant effluent), effluent‐impacted environmental (EI), environmental, and finished drinking water (total n=2305). TCS was most frequently detected in untreated waters (92% detection frequency (d.f.); mean ± standard error, 11,270 ± 2925 ng/L; n=237), but concentrations were significantly reduced in effluent waters (83% d.f.; 775 ± 311 ng/L; n=192, α=0.05). TCS concentration in EI waters (62% d.f.; 130 ± 17 ng/L; n=228) was not significantly reduced from effluent waters, but was significantly greater than TCS in environmental waters not classified as effluent impacted (11% d.f.; 13 ± 3 ng/L; n=1195). TCS was largely undetected in finished drinking water (1% d.f.; 4 ± 2 ng/L n=453), suggesting that for the U.S., drinking water is not an appreciable source of TCS exposure. In post‐treatment waters, average TCS concentrations were below part per billion levels. Although no U.S. regulatory standard exists for TCS in aquatic systems, comparison of averages reported in the current study to a predicted no effect concentration (PNEC) of 500 ng/L showed that 5.3% of EI waters were above the PNEC for changes in algal biomass, while only 0.25% of environmental waters surpassed this value. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. © 2013 SETAC

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