Current regulatory environmental exposure assessments for decamethylcyclopentasiloxane (D5), used in a range of personal care products, are based on a number of erroneous assumptions. Using an estimated D5 flux to waste water of 11.6 mg cap_1 d_1, a 95.2% removal rate in Sewage Treatment Plants (STP) and a dilution factor of 10 results in modelled surfacewater concentrations that are up to an order of magnitude higher than concentrations observed downstream of STPs in two UK rivers. A GIS-based water quality model (LF2000-WQX) was used to predict concentrations of D5 in two UK rivers. Assuming the STP removal rate is reasonable, awastewater flux of 2.4 mg cap_1 d_1 is needed in order to obtain a reasonable match between predicted and observed in-river concentrations. This flux is consistent with measured effluent concentrations. The results highlight major uncertainties in estimating chemical emission rates for volatile chemicals used in personal care products and suggest that measured concentrations in waste water are needed to refine exposure assessment
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