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      Occurrence and biodegradability studies of selected pharmaceuticals and personal care products in sewage effluent

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      Agricultural Water Management
      Elsevier BV

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          Pharmaceuticals, Hormones, and Other Organic Wastewater Contaminants in U.S. Streams, 1999−2000:  A National Reconnaissance

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            Pharmaceuticals and personal care products in the environment: agents of subtle change?

            During the last three decades, the impact of chemical pollution has focused almost exclusively on the conventional "priority" pollutants, especially those acutely toxic/carcinogenic pesticides and industrial intermediates displaying persistence in the environment. This spectrum of chemicals, however, is only one piece of the larger puzzle in "holistic" risk assessment. Another diverse group of bioactive chemicals receiving comparatively little attention as potential environmental pollutants includes the pharmaceuticals and active ingredients in personal care products (in this review collectively termed PPCPs), both human and veterinary, including not just prescription drugs and biologics, but also diagnostic agents, "nutraceuticals," fragrances, sun-screen agents, and numerous others. These compounds and their bioactive metabolites can be continually introduced to the aquatic environment as complex mixtures via a number of routes but primarily by both untreated and treated sewage. Aquatic pollution is particularly troublesome because aquatic organisms are captive to continual life-cycle, multigenerational exposure. The possibility for continual but undetectable or unnoticed effects on aquatic organisms is particularly worrisome because effects could accumulate so slowly that major change goes undetected until the cumulative level of these effects finally cascades to irreversible change--change that would otherwise be attributed to natural adaptation or ecologic succession. As opposed to the conventional, persistent priority pollutants, PPCPs need not be persistent if they are continually introduced to surface waters, even at low parts-per-trillion/parts-per-billion concentrations (ng-microg/L). Even though some PPCPs are extremely persistent and introduced to the environment in very high quantities and perhaps have already gained ubiquity worldwide, others could act as if they were persistent, simply because their continual infusion into the aquatic environment serves to sustain perpetual life-cycle exposures for aquatic organisms. This review attempts to synthesize the literature on environmental origin, distribution/occurrence, and effects and to catalyze a more focused discussion in the environmental science community.
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              Occurrence, fate, and removal of pharmaceutical residues in the aquatic environment: a review of recent research data

              The occurrence and fate of pharmaceutically active compounds (PhACs) in the aquatic environment has been recognized as one of the emerging issues in environmental chemistry. In some investigations carried out in Austria, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, England, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands, and the U.S., more than 80 compounds, pharmaceuticals and several drug metabolites, have been detected in the aquatic environment. Several PhACs from various prescription classes have been found at concentrations up to the microg/l-level in sewage influent and effluent samples and also in several surface waters located downstream from municipal sewage treatment plants (STPs). The studies show that some PhACs originating from human therapy are not eliminated completely in the municipal STPs and are, thus, discharged as contaminants into the receiving waters. Under recharge conditions, polar PhACs such as clofibric acid, carbamazepine, primidone or iodinated contrast agents can leach through the subsoil and have also been detected in several groundwater samples in Germany. Positive findings of PhACs have, however, also been reported in groundwater contaminated by landfill leachates or manufacturing residues. To date, only in a few cases PhACs have also been detected at trace-levels in drinking water samples.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Agricultural Water Management
                Agricultural Water Management
                Elsevier BV
                03783774
                November 2006
                November 2006
                : 86
                : 1-2
                : 72-80
                Article
                10.1016/j.agwat.2006.06.015
                9a85936e-20e6-45be-b7a5-11a19e1447fb
                © 2006

                http://www.elsevier.com/tdm/userlicense/1.0/

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