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Sci Total Environ. 2003 Jul 20;311(1-3):135-49.

Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in surface and treated waters of Louisiana, USA and Ontario, Canada.

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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118, USA.


A newly developed analytical method was used to measure concentrations of nine pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in samples from two surface water bodies, a sewage treatment plant effluent and various stages of a drinking water treatment plant in Louisiana, USA, and from one surface water body, a drinking water treatment plant and a pilot plant in Ontario, Canada. The analytical method provides for simultaneous extraction and quantification of the following broad range of PPCPs and endocrine-disrupting chemicals: naproxen; ibuprofen; estrone; 17beta-estradiol; bisphenol A; clorophene; triclosan; fluoxetine; and clofibric acid. Naproxen was detected in Louisiana sewage treatment plant effluent at 81-106 ng/l and Louisiana and Ontario surface waters at 22-107 ng/l. Triclosan was detected in Louisiana sewage treatment plant effluent at 10-21 ng/l. Of the three surface waters sampled, clofibric acid was detected in Detroit River water at 103 ng/l, but not in Mississippi River or Lake Pontchartrain waters. None of the other target analytes were detected above their method detection limits. Based on results at various stages of treatment, conventional drinking-water treatment processes (coagulation, flocculation and sedimentation) plus continuous addition of powdered activated carbon at a dosage of 2 mg/l did not remove naproxen from Mississippi River waters. However, chlorination, ozonation and dual media filtration processes reduced the concentration of naproxen below detection in Mississippi River and Detroit River waters and reduced clofibric acid in Detroit River waters. Results of this study demonstrate that existing water treatment technologies can effectively remove certain PPCPs. In addition, our study demonstrates the importance of obtaining data on removal mechanisms and byproducts associated with PPCPs and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals in drinking water and sewage treatment processes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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