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J Environ Qual. 2005 Jan-Feb;34(1):91-104.

Occurrence and fate of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in biosolids.

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  • 1Department of Crop & Soil Sciences, 3111 Miller Plant Sciences Building, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA.


Each year, large quantities of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) are used worldwide. Once conveyed to wastewater treatment plants, PPCPs can remain unchanged or undergo partial or complete transformation during wastewater treatment processes before discharge into the environment via effluent and biosolids for land application. Biosolids can be a major sink for some PPCPs. Previous investigations have indicated that land application of biosolids may be a potential important route through which PPCPs enter the environment. However, no information is available on exactly how closely the concentrations of PPCPs in the environmental media are related to the land application of PPCP-containing biosolids. This paper reviews currently available information on the occurrence of PPCPs in biosolids, methods of analysis, the potential fate of PPCPs in biosolids-applied soils, and composting as a potential means for removal of PPCPs from biosolids.

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