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J Hazard Mater. 2011 Mar 15;187(1-3):24-36. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2011.01.057. Epub 2011 Jan 19.

The occurrence and fate of anti-inflammatory and analgesic pharmaceuticals in sewage and fresh water: treatability by conventional and non-conventional processes.

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  • 1Bogazici University, Institute of Environmental Sciences, 34342 Istanbul, Turkey.


The presence of pharmaceutical (PhAC) residues in the environment is an emerging issue due to their continuous and uncontrolled release (via excretion from medical care) to the water environment and detrimental effects on aquatic organisms at low concentrations. A large fraction of PhAC pollution in water is composed of anti-inflammatory (AI) and analgesic (AN) drugs, which are rapidly excreted in urine. The present review is aimed to emphasize the occurrence of AI/AN wastes in sewage and fresh water bodies, their impacts on non-target organisms, and conversion or elimination by chemical, biochemical and physical treatment methods. The first part of the study is devoted to a critical review of most common AI/AN drugs and the relative efficiency of some selected sewage and drinking water treatment operations for their elimination/separation from aqueous systems. The second part focuses on pilot- or lab-scale applications of various advanced oxidation processes that are promising solutions to the ultimate degradation and/or conversion of such medical residues in effluents of drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs) and wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) to less harmful and non-toxic products.

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