In the past few decades, many emerging pollutants have been detected and monitored in different water sources because of their universal consumption and improper disposal. Among these, endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), a group of organic chemicals, have received global attention due to their estrogen effect, toxicity, persistence and bioaccumulation. For the removal of EDCs, conventional wastewater treatment methods include flocculation, precipitation, adsorption, etc. However, there are some limitations on these common methods. Herein, in order to enhance the public’s understanding of environmental EDCs, the definition of EDCs and the characteristics of several typical EDCs (physical and chemical properties, sources, usage, concentrations in the environment) are reviewed and summarized in this paper. In particular, the methods of EDC removal are reviewed, including the traditional methods of EDC removal, photocatalysis, biodegradation of EDCs and the latest research results of EDC removal. It is proposed that photocatalysis and biodegradation could be used as an environmentally friendly and efficient EDC removal technology. Photocatalytic technology could be one of the water treatment methods with the most potential, with great development prospects due to its high catalytic efficiency and low energy consumption. Biodegradation is expected to replace traditional water treatment methods and is also considered to be a highly promising method for efficient removal of EDCs. Besides, we summarize several photocatalysts with high catalytic activity and some fungi, bacteria and algae with strong biodegradability.
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