Quantification of triclosan, chlorinated triclosan derivatives, and their dioxin photoproducts in lacustrine sediment cores

Cale T. Anger, Charles Sueper, Dylan J. Blumentritt, Kristopher McNeill, Daniel R. Engstrom, William A. Arnold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations

Abstract

When discharged into surface waters via wastewater effluents, triclosan, the antimicrobial agent in handsoaps, and chlorinated triclosan derivatives (CTDs, formed during disinfection with chlorine) react photochemically to form polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins. To evaluate the historical exposure of waters to these compounds, the levels of triclosan, CTDs, and their derived dioxins were determined in sediment cores collected from wastewater-impacted Minnesota lakes. The accumulation rates and temporal trends of triclosan, CTDs, and dioxins in aquatic sediments were found to be a function of historical wastewater treatment operations and lake system scale. Cores collected from large-scale riverine systems with many wastewater sources recorded increasing concentrations of triclosan, CTDs, and their derived dioxins since the patent of triclosan in 1964. In small-scale lakes with a single wastewater source, the trends were directly attributed to increased triclosan use, local improvements in treatment, and changes in wastewater disinfection since the 1960s. In the lake with no wastewater input, no triclosan or CTDs were detected. Overall, concentrations of triclosan, CTDs, and their dioxins were higher in small-scale systems, reflecting a greater degree of wastewater impact. In cores collected in northern MN, the four dioxins derived from triclosan are present prior to the patent of triclosan, suggesting a secondary source. It is clear, however, that triclosan and CTDs are the dominant source of these congeners after 1965 in systems impacted by wastewater.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1833-1843
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume47
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 19 2013

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