Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Chemical and biological cycling of endocrine disrupting compounds in wastewater treatment

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
1.08.00  Natural sciences and mathematics  Control and care of the environment   

Code Science Field
P305  Natural sciences and mathematics  Environmental chemistry 
endocrine disrupting compounds, metabolite identification, wastewater treatment, (pilot) wastewater treatment plant, biological effects, microbial population, toxic effect
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (15)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  29517  PhD Miha Avberšek  Biology  Junior researcher  2008 - 2011  22 
2.  22616  PhD Tina Eleršek  Biology  Researcher  2008 - 2011  253 
3.  09892  PhD Metka Filipič  Biology  Researcher  2008 - 2011  585 
4.  03383  PhD Ivan - Janez Hacin  Plant production  Researcher  2010 - 2011  112 
5.  12315  PhD Ester Heath  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2008 - 2011  592 
6.  05027  PhD Milena Horvat  Chemistry  Researcher  2008 - 2011  1,863 
7.  05993  PhD Ines Mandić-Mulec  Biotechnology  Researcher  2008 - 2011  609 
8.  08314  PhD Radmila Milačič  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2008 - 2011  793 
9.  26462  PhD Simona Murko  Metabolic and hormonal disorders  Junior researcher  2008 - 2009  64 
10.  13005  PhD David Stopar  Plant production  Researcher  2008 - 2011  460 
11.  18359  PhD Janez Ščančar  Control and care of the environment  Head  2008 - 2011  670 
12.  28489  PhD Mitja Vahčič  Control and care of the environment  Junior researcher  2008 - 2011  43 
13.  25667  PhD Tea Zuliani  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2008 - 2011  307 
14.  20767  PhD Bojana Žegura  Biology  Researcher  2010 - 2011  331 
15.  03950  PhD Dušan Žigon  Chemistry  Researcher  2008 - 2011  167 
Organisations (3)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0105  National Institute of Biology  Ljubljana  5055784  13,309 
2.  0106  Jožef Stefan Institute  Ljubljana  5051606000  88,610 
3.  0481  University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty  Ljubljana  1626914  65,921 
Endocrine disrupting compounds (EDC) belong to a group of ”emerging contaminants” that are not necessarily new substances and in many cases have long been present in the environment. Despite undergoing water treatment, many persistent compounds are either only partially removed resulting in the formation of metabolites, or are not removed at all. These stable metabolites and untreated compounds are, due impart to ineffective legislation, discharged to receiving waters. And, albeit many classes of new emerging contaminants have been found in wastewaters and surface waters around Europe, very little is known about their occurrence, fate and potential harmful effects on the environment. The proposed project addresses two main areas in the field of new emerging contaminants; 1) to understand cycling (occurrence, fate and transfer) of compounds with endocrine disrupting activity within waste water treatment cycling (pilot scale (P) and in an actual waste water treatment plant, WWTP) and 2) to clarify their effect on microbiota present in a (P)WWTP. The goals of the research are to make a significant impact in this area and advance the science in the understanding of the threat these compounds pose to the environment. Finally, we expect, on the basis of this project’s results, to formulate future legislation amendments.
Significance for science
Interdisciplinary approach of proposed project encompasses: -optimisation of developed analytical methods for determination of selected EDC in aqueous samples (surface and waste waters) as well as evaluation of Slovene environment pollution with this group of compounds (partner JSI). Due to trace level concentrations the task is very complex and requires, besides expensive equipment, also skilled scientists. Results show applicability of optimised chemical methods for surface and more complex waste waters. Results of this part of project were presented at international conference 11th European Meeting on Environmental Chemistry v Portorožu decembra 2010. -Toxicity testings with specific biological test Callux assay and fish embryo test were applied in different studies. -Chemical and biological characterisation of samples (partners NIB and JSI) was coupled, what is technically very demanding and innovative task. Current results are very promising and show high applicability of developed approach. We expect high impact results, which are planned to be published after the end of the project. -Estimation of EDC effect on (P)WWTP activity, number and population of autotrophic nitrification organisms (partners BF and JSI) was studied. Results were presented as invited lecture on the conference Mikrobiologija od včeraj za jutri : 50 let SMD, Ljubljana, 24. november 2010. Results from this project has partially been published in original scientific appears as well as presented at international conferences. The majority of publications are not published yet. They are expected in the near future.
Significance for the country
To our knowledge, there have not been yet any projects in Slovenia addressing the issue of the occurrence and toxicity of endocrine disrupting compounds and their metabolites. Without a better understanding of the occurrence, pathways, fate and effects of new emerging substances and their metabolites a complete assessment of what contaminates the aquatic environment cannot be made. During the course of the project various analytical tools were developed that will help us to increase our knowledge on endocrine disrupters in the Environment. We expect our project results to overcome applicant institutions borders and impact future legislation amendments at the EU level.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2008, 2009, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2008, 2009, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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