Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products in Archived U.S. Biosolids from the 2001 EPA National Sewage Sludge Survey

Center for Environmental Biotechnology, The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, 1001 S. McAllister Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85287-5701, USA.
Water Research (Impact Factor: 5.53). 01/2010; 44(2):658-68. DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2009.12.032
Source: PubMed


In response to the U.S. National Academies' call for a better assessment of chemical pollutants contained in the approximately 7 million dry tons of digested municipal sludge produced annually in the United States, the mean concentration of 72 pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCP) were determined in 110 biosolids samples collected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in its 2001 National Sewage Sludge Survey. Composite samples of archived biosolids, collected at 94 U.S. wastewater treatment plants from 32 states and the District of Columbia, were analyzed by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry using EPA Method 1694. Thirty-eight (54%) of the 72 analytes were detected in at least one composite sample at concentrations ranging from 0.002 to 48 mg kg(-1) dry weight. Triclocarban and triclosan were the most abundant analytes with mean concentrations of 36 +/- 8 and 12.6 +/- 3.8 mg kg(-1) (n = 5), respectively, accounting for 65% of the total PPCP mass found. The loading to U.S. soils from nationwide biosolids recycling was estimated at 210-250 metric tons per year for the sum of the 72 PPCPs investigated. The results of this nationwide reconnaissance of PPCPs in archived U.S. biosolids mirror in contaminant occurrences, frequencies and concentrations, those reported by the U.S. EPA for samples collected in 2006/2007. This demonstrates that PPCP releases in U.S. biosolids have been ongoing for many years and the most abundant PPCPs appear to show limited fluctuations in mass over time when assessed on a nationwide basis. The here demonstrated use of five mega composite samples holds promise for conducting cost-effective, routine monitoring on a regional and national basis.

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Available from: Kristin Mcclellan, Oct 07, 2015
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    • "Other studies (Halling-Sörensen et al. 1998; Hirsch et al. 1999; Beausse 2004; Gómez et al. 2006; Ramirez et al. 2007) also demonstrate that 30–90 % of doses of antibiotics that enter the wastewater treatment plants are not completely removed by treatment processes. Consequently, antibiotics are routinely detected in surface water, in ground water and even in drinking water (Isidori et al. 2005; McClellan and Halde 2010). Due to their high toxicity to algae and bacteria at low concentrations (Miao et al. 2004) and combined with their potential to cause resistance amongst natural bacterial populations, antibiotics were recently classified as a priority risk group (Gargošová et al. 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: The water quality in South Africa's river systems is rapidly deteriorating as a consequence of increased discharge of wastewater effluents. The natural ability of rivers and reservoirs to trap toxic chemicals and nutrients in their sediments enables these systems to accumulate contaminants, altering the natural balance in environmental water quality, thereby raising a plethora of public and environmental health concerns. Impaired water quality has been linked to an array of problems in South Africa including massive fish mortalities, altered habitat template leading to the thinning of riverine macroinvertebrate diversity, shifts in microbial community structures with drastic ecological consequences and evolvement of antibiotic resistance genes that, under natural conditions, can be transferred to waterborne pathogens. Urban wastewater discharge has also been implicated in increased bioaccumulation of metals in edible plant parts, elevated concentrations of endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs), which are blamed for reduced fertility and increased cancer risk, excessive growth of toxic cyanobacteria and an increase in concentrations of pathogenic microorganisms which constitute a potential health threat to humans. However, despite the ecotoxicological hazards posed by wastewater effluents, ecotoxicological studies are currently underutilised in South African aquatic ecosystem assessments, and where they have been done, the observation is that ecotoxicological studies are mostly experimental and restricted to small study areas. More research is still needed to fully assess especially the ecotoxicological consequences of surface water pollution by urban wastewater effluents in South Africa. A review of the effects of urban effluent discharges that include domestic effluent mixed with industrial effluent and/or urban stormwater run-off is hereby presented.
    Environmental Science and Pollution Research 09/2015; DOI:10.1007/s11356-015-5416-4 · 2.83 Impact Factor
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    • "Generally, the concentrations of antibiotics in sludge samples observed in this study were in the range of the published concentrations in China according to the previous reports on Chinese sludge samples (Gao et al. 2012; Chen et al. 2013; Li et al. 2013b). However, the concentrations of TCs in sludge in China were much higher than in Europe and the United States (McClellan and Halden 2010; Cheng et al. 2014). A possible explanation is that the use of TCs is controlled very strictly both for humans and animals because of drug resistance and side effects in the developed countries, but TCs are still used as prescription drugs and for poultry production in China. "
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    ABSTRACT: The occurrence and pollution characteristics of common antibiotics in manure, soil, and sewage sludge in Shenyang, the biggest city in northeastern China, were investigated. Commonly used antibiotics tetracyclines (TCs), including tetracycline, chlortetracycline, oxytetracycline, and deoxytetracycline; and sulfonamides (SAs), including sulfadiazine, sulfamerazine, sulfadimidine, and sulfamethoxazole, were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry via solid-phase extraction. Multiple antibiotics could be simultaneously measured in a single manure sample. The highest concentration of antibiotics in manure was 143.97 mg kg−1 (chlortetracycline). There were no significant differences in concentrations of antibiotics between large-scale farms and individual household farms. The concentrations of TCs were significantly higher than those of SAs in manure and soils. However, the concentrations and detection frequencies of antibiotics in soils were significantly lower than in manure. The concentrations of antibiotics varied from 2.56 μg kg−1 of sulfadimidine to 1590.16 μg kg−1 of chlortetracycline, and the detection frequencies were 27.14-64.29 % for TCs and 5.71-28.57 % for SAs in soils. The concentrations of antibiotics in the vegetable field fertilized with manure were higher than those in the corn field not fertilized with manure. Various kinds of antibiotics were detected in sewage sludge, although concentrations were not high. Concentrations of antibiotics were higher in winter than in summer, The concentrations of antibiotics observed in this study were similar to those observed in other regions of China, but, in general, higher than those in other countries.
    Environmental Earth Sciences 09/2015; 74(6). DOI:10.1007/s12665-015-4528-y · 1.77 Impact Factor
    • "In the course of wastewater treatment, PPCP compounds and the products of their transformations may accumulate in sewage sludge (Heidler et al., 2006; McClellan and Halden, 2010). Therefore, the land application of biosolids from sewage sludge may contribute to the presence of PPCP contaminants in soils and their further transport to groundwater and surface water (Gottschall et al., 2012; McClellan and Halden, 2010). Since the environmental fate of organic compounds is strongly influenced by sorption interactions at soil–water interfaces , the factors and mechanisms controlling the soil sorption of PPCPs are of great interest. "
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    ABSTRACT: Freely available from Triclosan, gemfibrozil and galaxolide, representing acidic and non-ionized hydrophobic organic compounds, are biologically active and can be accumulated during wastewater treatment in sewage sludge. The interactions of these substances with the soils amended by sewage sludge-originating biosolids may control their environmental fate. Therefore, the sorption of three organic compounds was studied in dune sand, loess soil, clay soil and mixtures of these media with three different sewage sludge-originating biosolids that were incubated under aerobic conditions for 6 months. For each compound, 15 sorption isotherms were produced at pH 7.8–8.0. The sorption of triclosan and gemfibrozil on sand-containing sorbents was examined also under acidic conditions. In some soil series, the compound’s Freundlich constants (KF) are linearly related to the soil organic carbon (OC) content. Notably, for a given OC content, the sand-containing sorbents tend to demonstrate enhanced interactions with triclosan and galaxolide. This may be related with more hydrophobic and/or less rigid soil organic matter (SOM) as compared with the clay-containing soils, implying indirect effects of minerals. Generally the OC-normalized KF vary among different soil–biosolid combinations which is explained by the differences in the composition and properties of SOM, and is also contributed by the non-zero intercepts of the linear KF upon soil OC dependencies. The negative intercepts suggest that below a certain OC level no considerable organic compound–soil interactions would occur. Interactions of molecular and anionic forms of triclosan with a sand-containing sorbent may be comparable, but interactions involving gemfibrozil molecules could be stronger than interactions involving its anion.
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