Persistent toxic substances: Sources, fates and effects

Ming Hung WONG, Margaret-Ann ARMOUR, Ravi NAIDU, Ming MAN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Persistent toxic substances (PTS) include the Stockholm persistent organic pollutants, like dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxin/furan, etc., and organometallic compounds, like organomercury, organotin, and organolead, which all share the same characteristics of being persistent, toxic, bioaccumulative, and able to travel long distances through different media. The adverse health effects of some of the emerging chemicals like pentabromodiphenyl ether, bisphenol A, and di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, which are widely used in daily appliances (e.g., TVs, computers, mobile phones, plastic baby bottles), have become a public health concern due to more evidence now available showing their adverse effects like disturbance of the endocrine system and cancer. This article is an attempt to review the current status of PTS in our environment, citing case studies in China and North America, and whether our existing drinking water treatment and wastewater treatment processes are adequate in removing them from water. Some management issues of these emerging chemicals of concern are also discussed. Copyright © 2012 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-213
JournalReviews on Environmental Health
Issue number4
Early online date17 Oct 2012
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2012


Wong, M. H., Armour, M.-A., Naidu, R., & Man, M. (2012). Persistent toxic substances: Sources, fates and effects. Reviews on Environmental Health, 27(4), 207-213. doi: 10.1515/reveh-2012-0040


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