Occurrence and fate of antibiotic, analgesic/anti-inflammatory, and antifungal compounds in five wastewater treatment processes

The presence of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in the aquatic environment as a result of wastewater effluent discharge is a concern in many countries

P. Guerra; M. Kim; A. Shah; M. Alaee; S.A. Smyth

2013

Scholarcy highlights

  • The presence of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in the aquatic environment as a result of wastewater effluent discharge is a concern in many countries
  • Anti-inflammatories were biodegraded while antibiotics were highly persistent
  • In order to expand our understanding on the occurrence and fate of PPCPs during wastewater treatment processes, 62 antibiotic, analgesic/anti-inflammatory, and antifungal compounds were analyzed in 72 liquid and 24 biosolid samples from six wastewater treatment plants during the summer and winter seasons of 2010–2012
  • PPCPs were detected in all WWTP influents at median concentrations of 1.5 to 92,000 ng/L, with no seasonal differences
  • Removal efficiencies ranged between − 450% and 120%, depending on the compound, WWTP type, and season
  • Mass balance showed that the fate of analgesic/anti-inflammatory compounds was predominantly biodegradation during biological treatment, while antibiotics and antifungal compounds were more likely to sorb to sludge
  • This study highlighted the occurrence and behavior of a large set of pharmaceuticals and personal care products and determined how their removal is affected by environmental/operational factors in different wastewater treatment plants

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