Quantitative Determination of Phthalate Esters and Bisphenol-A Residues in Wastewater Treatment Plants Outflow in Saudi Arabia: Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry-Based Analytical Study

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assiut University

2 Histology and Cell Biology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Fayoum University, Fayoum, Egypt

3 Department of clinical sciences, Vision College of Medicine, Vision Colleges-Riyadh

4 - National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, (NIOF), Alexandria, Egypt

5 Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia

6 College of Medicine, King Saud University Medical City, King Saud University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

7 Assistant professor of mathematics of Basic Sciences, College of dentistry & nursing , Vision Colleges, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

8 College of Medicine, Vision Colleges, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

9 Departement of Anatomy and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University


The aquatic system is unfortunately vulnerable to contamination by chemicals as bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalate esters (PAEs) that arise from plastic products frequently used. Water supply is limited in Saudi Arabia. Therefore, many wastewater-treatment plants (WTPs) have been established for wastewater recycling in industry and agricultural purposes. The current study updated and validated the concentrations of BPA and six PAEs (dibutyl phthalate (DBP), dimethyl phthalate (DMP), diethyl phthalate (DEP), butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP), bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), and dioctyl phthalate (DOP)) in wastewater samples obtained from 5 wastewater treatment plants in 3 Saudi cities. Also, the study compared the concentrations of these chemicals in the secondary WTPs versus the tertiary ones. Chromatography/mass spectrometry was used for the extraction of the chemicals in water samples. All measurements were exposed to comparison and correlation statistical analysis. Both DEHP and DBP were found in all obtained treated wastewater samples. Meanwhile, DOP, BBP, DEP, DMP, and BPA were identified in the following percent of samples, 74.1%, 80.2%, 84%, 84.1%, and 98.01% respectively. The levels of DMP (p ˂ 0.05), DOP, (p ˂ 0.05) and BPA (p ˂ 0.05) were higher in tertiary-treated water sample than those secondary.


Volume 65, Issue 131 - Serial Number 13
Special Issue: Chemistry and Global Challenges (Part A)
December 2022
Pages 1353-1360
  • Receive Date: 07 June 2022
  • Revise Date: 12 September 2022
  • Accept Date: 01 October 2022