Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) as contaminants in freshwater aquatic environment

Anekwe, Jennifer Elebe (2020). Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) as contaminants in freshwater aquatic environment. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The freshwater aquatic environment is under significant pressure via anthropogenic contamination by a variety of emerging contaminants such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs). Knowledge of their presence and potential detrimental effects has increasingly been reported across the globe in the last decade. Wastewater treatment plants have been identified as a major point source of these chemicals to the aquatic environment. Therefore, the main purpose of this thesis is to investigate the fate, occurrence and behaviour of PPCPs in freshwater aquatic environment in developed (United Kingdom and Australia) and developing (Egypt and Nigeria) countries.
Chapter 1 of this thesis contains a detailed introduction/literature review about environmental contamination by PPCPs. This is followed by a description of an analytical method developed for the determination of 30 PPCPs, using ultra high-performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) coupled to Q-Exactive Orbitrap mass spectrometry in chapter 2. In chapter 3, PPCPs are shown to be ubiquitously detected in Egyptian wastewater and surface water, with higher concentrations found in hospital effluent samples for instance, acetaminophen ranging 980 – 16000 ng/L. In chapter 4, investigation of the occurrence, seasonal variation of and human exposure to PPCPs in surface water, groundwater (boreholes and wells), and drinking water (sachet and bottled) in Lagos State, Nigeria reveals the presence of PPCPs in Lagos State waterways including drinking water in dry (summer) and rainy (winter) season samples. Human exposure to PPCPs via drinking borehole, sachet and bottled water was assessed and results showed 81, 14 and 3 ng/kgBW/day respectively.
In chapter 5, the seasonal and spatial variation of PPCPs was investigated in canal and river water samples from the UK. Results displayed Σ30PPCPs concentration in the canals to be relatively higher in spring than summer season, while in the rivers Σ30PPCPs concentration was higher in summer than spring season. PPCPs concentrations were higher in the rivers due to effluent discharge than the canals. Finally, in chapter 6, per capita release of PPCPs was estimated using effluent samples collected from 66 wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) on Australian census day. PPCPs consumption was estimated and the result showed average PPCPs consumption to range between 650-4400000 mg/day/1000 people.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences


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