Phthalates and Bisphenols in Australian Wastewater: Estimating Contributions from Point and Diffuse Sources

Phthalates and bisphenols, broadly termed plastic additives, are found in wastewater from all around the world. While these chemicals are used in the production of plastic items, they can also leach and shed from the use of these products over time. In order to better understand plastic additive presence in Australia, this project aims to assess which plastic additives are most prevalent in Australian wastewater as well as estimate the percentage coming from point sources (likely industry) and diffuse sources (domestic and other community inputs).

This project will examine municipal wastewater, industrial trade waste and wastewater from purely residential catchments.

Outcomes

When a conservative statistical baseline was applied, bisphenols in wastewater appeared to mostly come from point sources (industrial contributions) and most phthalates from diffuse sources (domestic/community driven contributions).

Project members

Belinda Moore

PhD Candidate

Dr Ben Tscharke

Senior Research Fellow

Dr Chang He

Honorary Senior Research Fellow

Dr Ian Zammit

Research Fellow

Dr Xianyu (Fisher) Wang

Senior Research Fellow