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Occurrence, Fate, and Impact of Triclosan and Other Antimicrobials to Wastewater Treatment Utilities

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The occurrence of the antimicrobials triclosan (TCS), triclocarban (TCC) and related pharmaceuticals and personal care products in domestic wastewater, sewage sludge and the environment is an emerging issue of concern. This study examined the fate of these compounds during wastewater treatment, with particular emphasis on the occurrence and accumulation of antimicrobial agents in digested municipal sewage sludge (biosolids) destined for application on land. Concentrations of antimicrobials are summarized in both aquatic and terrestrial environments to inform risk assessment analyses. Wastewater treatment plants are the principal source of release of antimicrobial substances to the environment. Low to elevated concentrations of antimicrobial agents in treated wastewater and municipal biosolids, respectively, pose potential risks to aquatic biota, soil microbial communities and to human health.
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Keywords: Antimicrobials; fate and transport; mass balance; risk assessment; sewage treatment; triclocarban; triclosan

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-01-01

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