The Llobregat pp 151-165 | Cite as

Inputs of Pharmaceuticals and Endocrine Disrupting Compounds in the Llobregat River Basin

  • Mira PetrovicEmail author
  • Damia Barceló
Part of the The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry book series (HEC, volume 21)


Pharmaceutically active compounds (PhACs) and endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) including natural and synthetic hormones and alkylphenolic compounds are two classes of organic contaminants found to be ubiquitous in the Llobregat river basin. This chapter summarizes the findings of several extensive monitoring studies conducted in order to evaluate the main sources and identify compounds present in the river water and sediment. WWTP outlets are identified as major contributors of these substances and although the load of pharmaceuticals and EDCs in WWTP outlets are considerably reduced after the treatment, still considerable concentrations are found in receiving river water. However, direct ecotoxicological effects are very difficult to estimate due to the great number and variety of factors, such as is the presence of other organic and inorganic contaminants and impact of other environmental stressors. However, two studies unequivocally confirmed that EDCs present in the Llobregat river have negative effect on the reproductive physiology of endogenous fish feral carp (Cyprinus carpio).


Endocrine disrupting compounds Nonylphenol Pharmaceuticals Steroid hormones Wastewater treatment plants 



Alkylphenol monoethoxylates


Alkyphenol ethoxylates




Drinking water treatment plant


Endocrine disrupting compounds


Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry


Limit of detection


No-observed effect concentration




Nonylphenol carboxylates


Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs




Pharmaceutically active compounds


Recombinant yeast assay




Wastewater treatment plants


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Catalan Institute for Water Research (ICRA)Scientific and Technological Park of the University of GironaGironaSpain
  2. 2.Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA)BarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Department of Environmental ChemistryInstitute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDAEA-CSIC)BarcelonaSpain

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