Occurrence, fate and removal of pharmaceutically active compounds (PhACs) in water and wastewater treatment plants—A review

Carbamazepine, gemfizobril and fenofibrate have the highest risks to human health

Carolina F. Couto; Lisete C. Lange; Miriam C.S. Amaral

2019

Scholarcy highlights

  • Carbamazepine, gemfizobril and fenofibrate have the highest risks to human health
  • This paper reviews the occurrence of Pharmaceutically active compounds in water and wastewater worldwide as well as their fate, focusing on the removal by conventional water and wastewater treatment plants and the risk imposed to human health associated to the presence of PhACs in raw and drinking water
  • Due to the high stability, intrinsic characteristics and low concentration, adsorption to the sludge and biodegradation are the most used path to remove of these compounds in wastewater treatment plants
  • In water treatment plants, chlorination and application of activated granular carbon are the processes associated with the highest removal of pharmaceutical compounds, but, in general, conventional WTPs are able to reduce but not completely remove PhACs in potable water
  • Carbamazepine, gemfizobril and fenofibrate are found to be the PhACs that risks to human health could not be excluded
  • The results point to the need for more studies focusing on the determination of guideline values for drinking water of more Pharmaceutically active compounds

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