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Investigation of antibiotics in health care wastewater in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Vo, Thi-Dieu-Hien, Bui, Xuan-Thanh, Cao, Ngoc-Dan-Thanh, Luu, Vinh-Phuc, Nguyen, Thanh-Tin, Dang, Bao-Trong, Thai, Minh-Quan, Nguyen, Dinh-Duc, Nguyen, Thanh-Son, Dinh, Quoc-Tuc, Dao, Thanh-Son
Environmental monitoring and assessment 2016 v.188 no.12 pp. 686
ammonium nitrogen, biochemical oxygen demand, chemical oxygen demand, ciprofloxacin, coliform bacteria, drugs, environmental factors, erythromycin, health services, hospitals, humans, norfloxacin, ofloxacin, pollutants, risk, sludge, sulfamethoxazole, surveys, trimethoprim, wastewater, wastewater treatment, Vietnam
Hospital wastewater contains huge amounts of hazardous pollutants which are being discharged daily to environment with or without treatment. Antibiotics were among the important group of pharmaceuticals considered as a potential source of health risk for human and other living creatures. Although the investigations about the existence of antibiotics in hospital wastewater have gained concern for researchers in many countries, there is only one research conducted in Hanoi-Vietnam. Hence, in this study, investigations have been done to fulfill the requirement of real situation in Vietnam by accomplishing survey for 39 health care facilities in Ho Chi Minh City. As results, seven popular antibiotics were detected to exist in all samples such as sulfamethoxazole (2.5 ± 1.9 μg/L), norfloxacin (9.6 ± 9.8 μg/L), ciprofloxacin (5.3 ± 4.8 μg/L), ofloxacin (10.9 ± 8.1 μg/L), erythromycin (1.2 ± 1.2 μg/L), tetracycline (0.1 ± 0.0 μg/L), and trimethoprim (1.0 ± 0.9 μg/L). On the other hand, survey also showed that only 64% of health care facilities using conventional activate sludge (AS) processes in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). As a consequence, basic environmental factors (BOD₅, COD, TSS, NH₄ ⁺-N, or total coliforms) were not effectively removed from the hospital wastewater due to problems relating to initial design or operational conditions. Therefore, 18% effluent samples of the surveyed WWTPs have exceeded the national standard limits (QCVN 28:2010, level B).