Occurrence, fate and health risk assessment of 10 common antibiotics in two drinking water plants with different treatment processes

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Journal Article
Science of the Total Environment, 2019, 674 pp. 316 - 326
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© 2019 Elsevier B.V. The occurrence of antibiotics in drinking water has become a serious problem worldwide as they are a potential and real threat to human health. In this study, the variability of 10 typical antibiotics in two drinking water plants was investigated in two seasons (n = 12). The total concentrations of target antibiotics in raw water were significantly higher in winter than in summer, which may be attributed to the more frequent occurrence of colds and respiratory diseases as well as less rainfall in winter. The efficiency in removing the antibiotics varied from −46.5% to 45.1% in water plant A (WP-A) using a conventional process and 40.3% to 70.3% in water plant B (WP-B) with an advanced treatment process. Results indicated that the antibiotics in WP-A were mainly removed via the coagulation process. However in WP-B, the ultraviolet + chlorination process played a key role in antibiotics removal, followed by the pre-ozone + coagulation process. According to the human health risk assessment, it was suggested that the risk of drinking water was significantly higher than that of skin contact. However, the risk of carcinogenesis and non-carcinogenesis caused by antibiotics was at an acceptable level.
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