Contamination of Water: Chapter 18 - Pharmaceuticals and personal care products: occurrence, detection, risk, and removal technologies in aquatic environment

Elsevier, Contamination of Water, Health Risk Assessment and Treatment Strategies, 2021, Pages 265-284
Bipasha Ghosh, Ashish Sengar, Arif Ahamad, Rao Faraz Waris

With increasing use of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), these compounds have made their ubiquitous presence in the environment. PPCPs are consumed by humans and through sewer, they find their way into wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). Incomplete degradation of these compounds take place in WWTPs, and as a consequence, they get into surface water and groundwater systems. PPCPs are often termed as micropollutants or trace organics, as these compounds are present in the µg/L range in the environment. With advancements in detection technologies, transformation products of these compounds have also been identified and detected in the environment. PPCPs may pose a serious threat to aquatic life, having acute and chronic toxicity responses. Biological and chemical treatment technologies have shown their effectiveness in PPCPs remediation. However, complete mineralization of these compounds has not been obtained, and as a result, transformation compounds showing more toxicity than parent compounds are obtained. This puts a challenge and there is a need for evolving treatment technologies to obtain complete mineralization of these compounds.