Scientists Discover Phthalate-Degrading Bacteria

Researchers in South Korea have found a bacteria that can degrade endocrine-disrupting phthalates, including dibutyl phthalate. Novosphingobium fluvii was discovered in the Nakdong River and has been shown to degrade phthalates at concentrations ranging from 10 to 4,000 ppm. The bacteria, which belongs to a genus known to degrade a number of organic compounds, breaks down phthalates more efficiently than other phthalate-degrading bacteria (e.g., Rhodococcus).