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Environ Int. 2014 Jul;68:33-40. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2014.03.006. Epub 2014 Mar 31.

Emission of artificial sweeteners, select pharmaceuticals, and personal care products through sewage sludge from wastewater treatment plants in Korea.

Author information

1
Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, and Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, State University of New York at Albany, Empire State Plaza, P.O. Box 509, Albany, New York 12201-0509, United States.
2
Department of Marine Sciences and Convergent Technology, College of Science and Technology, Hanyang University, Ansan 426-791, Republic of Korea.
3
Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, and Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, State University of New York at Albany, Empire State Plaza, P.O. Box 509, Albany, New York 12201-0509, United States; Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, and Experimental Biochemistry Unit, King Fahd Medical Research Center, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia. Electronic address: kkannan@wadsworth.org.

Abstract

Concern over the occurrence of artificial sweeteners (ASWs) as well as pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in the environment is growing, due to their high use and potential adverse effects on non-target organisms. The data for this study are drawn from a nationwide survey of ASWs in sewage sludge from 40 representative wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) that receive domestic (WWTPD), industrial (WWTPI), or mixed (domestic plus industrial; WWTPM) wastewaters in Korea. Five ASWs (concentrations ranged from 7.08 to 5220 ng/g dry weight [dw]) and ten PPCPs (4.95-6930 ng/g dw) were determined in sludge. Aspartame (concentrations ranged from 28.4 to 5220 ng/g dw) was determined for the first time in sewage sludge. The median concentrations of ASWs and PPCPs in sludge from domestic WWTPs were 0.8-2.5 and 1.0-3.4 times, respectively, the concentrations found in WWTPs that receive combined domestic and industrial wastewaters. Among the five ASWs analyzed, the median environmental emission rates of aspartame through domestic WWTPs (both sludge and effluent discharges combined) were calculated to be 417 μg/capita/day, followed by sucralose (117 μg/capita/day), acesulfame (90 μg/capita/day), and saccharin (66μg/capita/day). The per-capita emission rates of select PPCPs, such as antimicrobials (triclocarban: 158 μg/capita/day) and analgesics (acetaminophen: 59 μg/capita/day), were an order of magnitude higher than those calculated for antimycotic (miconazole) and anthelmintic (thiabendazole) drugs analyzed in this study. Multiple linear regression analysis of measured concentrations of ASWs and PPCPs in sludge revealed that several WWTP parameters, such as treatment capacity, population-served, sludge production rate, and hydraulic retention time could influence the concentrations found in sludge.

KEYWORDS:

Acetaminophen; Antibiotics; Artificial sweeteners; Aspartame; Pharmaceuticals and personal care products; Saccharin; Sludge; Triclocarban; Wastewater treatment plant

PMID:
24695211
DOI:
10.1016/j.envint.2014.03.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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