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Linking the environmental loads to the fate of PPCPs in Beijing: Considering both the treated and untreated wastewater sources

Wang, Bin, Dai, Guohua, Deng, Shubo, Huang, Jun, Wang, Yujue, Yu, Gang
Environmental pollution 2015 v.202 pp. 153-159
caffeine, models, personal care products, pollution, propranolol, wastewater, China
The environmental loads of pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) in Beijing were estimated from direct discharge of untreated wastewater and WWTP treated effluent. The annual environmental loads of 15 PPCP components ranged from 16.3 kg (propranolol) to 9.85 tons (caffeine). A fugacity model was developed to successfully estimate the PPCP pollution based on the estimated environmental load. The modeled results approximated the observed PPCP concentrations in Beijing. The untreated wastewater contributed significantly to PPCP pollution in Beijing, ranging from 46% (propranolol) to 99% (caffeine). The total environmental burden of target PPCPs ranged from 0.90 kg (propranolol) to 536 kg (caffeine). Water is the most important media for the fate of PPCPs. Monte Carlo-based concentration distributions of PPCPs are consistent with the observed results. The most important way to reduce the PPCP pollution is to both improve wastewater collection rate and adopt deep treatment technologies.