Nitroaromatic compounds (NACs) are among the largest and most important groups of industrial chemicals in use nowadays (Ju and Parales 2010; Tomei et al. 2010). The NACs, such as nitrophenol, nitrobenzene, nitrotoluene, and nitrobenzoates, are of considerable industrial importance as the main raw materials in the manufacture of various dyes, pharmaceuticals, pesticides and explosives (Tomei et al. 2010; Yi et al. 2006; Aditya et al. 2015). 4-Nitrophenol (4-NP) is one of the most common and important NACs, both in terms of quantities used and potential environmental impacts (Yi et al. 2006; Podeh et al. 1995; Aditya et al. 2015; Sarkar et al. 2011). 4-NP is mainly used for the manufacture of drugs (e.g. acetaminophen) and pesticides (e.g. methyl and ethyl parathion) and is also used in leather treatment, in dyestuff production, and for military purposes. Because of its regular and extensive use, 4-NP can be found as a pollutant in industrial wastewater streams associated with its formulation, distribution and application (Yi et al. 2006; Pozun et al. 2013). Moreover, hydrolysis of pesticides and herbicides can also release 4-NP into the subsurface and then contaminate groundwater resources (Labana et al. 2005). As the 4-NP released into the environment, its contamination can cause a significant environmental and public health risk, due to its acute toxicity and mutagenic potential (Yi et al. 2006; Podeh et al. 1995; Labana et al. 2005; Aditya et al. 2015; Pozun et al. 2013). The acute exposing of 4-NP may lead to blood disorders along with methemoglobin formation, liver and kidney damage, anemia, skin and eye irritation, and systemic poisoning. In particular, it may cause deleterious effects to ecological systems, due to the 4-NP contamination of rivers and groundwater resources [Zieris et al. (1988), Aditya et al. (2015)]. Therefore, 4-NP containing industrial wastewater should be uncontaminated before being discharged into the environment.
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