Monitoring of Pharmaceutical Residues in Sewage Effluents

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Handbook of Water Purity and Quality, 2009, pp. 315 - 342
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The impact of chemical pollution has focused almost exclusively on the conventional priority pollutants. The growing use of pharmaceuticals worldwide, classified as emerging pollutants, has become a new environmental problem, which has raised great concern among scientists in the last few years. Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are major contributors of pharmaceuticals in the environment. Because of their high consumption, pharmaceuticals along with their metabolites are continuously introduced to sewage systems, mainly through excreta, disposal of unused or expired drugs, or directly from pharmaceutical discharges. The increasing use of drugs in livestock, poultry production, and fish farming during the last five decades has caused a genetic selection of more harmful bacteria, which is a matter of great concern. The recent awareness of the potentially dangerous consequences of the presence of pharmaceuticals in the sewage effluent, the analytical methodology for the determination in complex matrices is still evolving and the number of methods described in the literature has grown considerably. Although pharmaceutical residues in the environment is a major concern and has been widely studied in sewage effluents, the residues of pharmaceuticals in aquatic systems are not yet included in the regular monitoring programs of regulatory bodies. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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