Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products in Archived US 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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    • "The environmental impact of residual pharmaceuticals and personal-care products (PPCPs) has become public concern due to their widespread occurrence in the environment (Gobel et al., 2005; McClellan & Halden, 2010; Vasiliadou et al., 2013). Among these emerging contaminants, antibiotics are extensively used not only in human and veterinary medicine but also as growth promoting agents in the modern farming and aquaculture industry (Garcia-Galan et al., 2011; Zhou et al., 2014). "
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    11/2015; 3:e1359. DOI:10.7717/peerj.1359
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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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    • "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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