The antimicrobial agent triclosan (5-chloro-2-(2,4-dichlorophenoxy)phenol; TCS) is a member of a larger group of polychlorinated binuclear aromatic compounds frequently associated with adverse environmental and human health effects. Whereas the structure and function of TCS would suggest significant resistance to biotransformation, biological wastewater treatment currently is considered the principal destructive mechanism limiting dispersal of and environmental contamination with this compound. We explored the persistence of TCS in a typical full-scale activated sludge US sewage treatment plant using a mass balance approach in conjunction with isotope dilution liquid chromatography electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ID-LC-ESI-MS) for accurate quantification. Average influent and effluent concentrations (mean +/- SD) of 4.7+/-1.6 and 0.07+/-0.06 microg 1(-1), respectively, revealed an apparent (liquid-phase) removal efficiency of 98+/-1%. However, further analyses demonstrated that the particle-active TCS (80+/-22% particle-associated in influent) was sequestered into wastewater residuals and accumulated in dewatered, digested sludge to concentrations of 30000+/-11000 microg kg-1. Overall, 50+/-19% (1640+/-610 g d-1) of the disinfectant mass entering the plant (3240+/-1860 g d-1) remained detectable in sludge, and less than half of the total mass (48+/-19%) was biotransformed or lost to other mechanisms. Thus, conventional sewage treatment was demonstrated to be much less effective in destroying the antimicrobial than the aqueous-phase removal efficiency of the plant would make believe. Furthermore, study findings indicate that the common practice of sludge recycling in agriculture results in the transfer of substantial quantities of TCS to US soils used, in part, for animal husbandry and crop production.
"In 2004, approximately 50–60% of 6.5 million tons (dry weight) of municipal SS produced in the U.S. was land-applied . While land-applied SS offers a source of rich nutrients, they can also release pollutants that become sequestered into the terrestrial food chain or leached into groundwater  . A few studies have reported the occurrence of artificial sweeteners, pharmaceuticals, and illicit drugs in agricultural soils following the land application of SS   . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Excreted trace organic chemicals, e.g., pharmaceuticals and biocides, typically undergo incomplete elimination in municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and are released to surface water via treated effluents and to agricultural soils through sludge amendment and/or irrigation with freshwater or reclaimed wastewater. Recent research has shown the tendency for these substances to accumulate in food crops. In this study, we developed and applied a simulation tool to predict the fate of three ionizable trace chemicals (triclosan—TCS, furosemide—FUR, ciprofloxacin—CIP) from human consumption/excretion up to the accumulation in soil and plant, following field amendment with sewage sludge or irrigation with river water (assuming dilution of WWTP effluent). The simulation tool combines the SimpleTreat model modified for fate prediction of ionizable chemicals in a generic WWTP and a recently developed dynamic soil-plant uptake model. The simulation tool was tested using country-specific (e.g., consumption/emission rates, precipitation and temperature) input data. A Monte Carlo-based approach was adopted to account for the uncertainty associated to physico-chemical and biokinetic model parameters.
Water Research 07/2015; 84:85-98. DOI:10.1016/j.watres.2015.06.033 · 5.53 Impact Factor
"In a recent study, Chen et al.  investigated ozonation by-products of TCS and reported TCS removals based on initial and final TCS concentrations without taking into consideration its hydrophobicity and the corresponding possible adsorption . Solely, some studies indicated the fact that TCS is adsorbed onto biological sludge in wastewater treatment plant  and nanofiltration (NF)/reverse osmosis (RO) membrane . Birikorang et al.  studied the adsorption and desorption kinetics of TCS onto and from biosolids, soils, and biosolids-amended soils and indicated the participation of TCS on these solid matrices . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper examines the effect of adsorption of Triclosan (TCS) onto labware on the results obtained during lab-scale experiments. Three sets of experiments were considered; two of them expose the problem in water or wastewater treatability studies and the other one in microbial susceptibility testings. In the former two sets, lab-scale systems; ozonation; and membrane filtration (NF/RO) that are commonly used in water or wastewater treatability studies were utilized and the distribution of TCS within the systems were followed. The ozonation labware tested was composed of a Pyrex reactor with plastic and glass tubings. The NF/RO system was composed of a stainless steel feed tank, a stainless steel membrane unit, stainless steel flanges, and stainless steel and plastic tubings. Ozonation system was operated without ozone gas, but air. Similarly, NF/RO system was without membrane in it. Both of the systems were rinsed with methanol before experiments to remove any possible earlier contamination. During the experiments, samples were taken at certain intervals and the change in TCS concentration in water was monitored. Results obtained with lab-scale ozonation system revealed that TCS adsorbed by the surface of plastic tubing is about 100 times greater than that of glass tubing. In NF/RO system, the higher the initial TCS concentration the higher the mass of TCS adsorbed by the membrane filtration system alone was evident. In the third set, microbial susceptibility testing was conducted on Staphylococcus aureus for TCS and the possible effect of adsorption of TCS onto the plastic labware was sought by comparing MIC and MBC values performed by serial dilutions in aqueous and methanol solutions. MIC and MBC values determined using TCS in methanol range from 0.06 to 16 mg/L, while the ones determined with TCS in water range from 0.25 to 128 mg/L. All the results obtained indicated that adsorption is a substantial phenomenon; in the event that it is not considered, obtained results might not reflect the truth. TCS was found to adsorb seriously on plastic but not on glass labwares. Therefore, before an experimental system that will employ TCS is designed, it is essential to consider the possible adsorption onto the experimental system components and to demonstrate that there is no adsorption of TCS onto labware.
Desalination and water treatment 11/2014; 52(37-39). DOI:10.1080/19443994.2013.831780 · 1.17 Impact Factor
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