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Chemosphere. 2011 Jan;82(2):179-86. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2010.10.026. Epub 2010 Oct 30.

Occurrence and distribution of pharmaceuticals in wastewater from households, livestock farms, hospitals and pharmaceutical manufactures.

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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Pusan National University, Busan 609-735, Republic of Korea.


Twenty-four pharmaceuticals were measured in wastewater from 12 municipal wastewater treatment plants (M-WWTPs), four livestock WWTPs (L-WWTPs), four hospital WWTPs (H-WWTPs) and four pharmaceutical manufacture WWTPs (P-WWTPs). The total concentration of pharmaceuticals in the influent samples was highest in the L-WWTPs followed by the P-WWTPs, H-WWTPs and M-WWTPs. The effluents had different patterns of pharmaceuticals than their corresponding influents because of the different fate of each compound in the WWTPs. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) were the most dominant in the influents from the M-WWTPs and P-WWTPs, while antibiotics were dominantly detected in the L-WWTP. In the H-WWTP influents, NSAIDs, caffeine and carbamazepine were dominant. In the P-WWTPs, the distribution of pharmaceuticals in the effluents varied with sampling sites and periods. The M-WWTP influents had the highest daily loads, while the effluents showed somewhat similar levels in all source types.

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