Increase Of Pharmaceutical Drugs Through The Wastewater Treatment Processes


The use of pharmaceuticals drugs have increased which are found to be ended up in wastewater when excretion and disposal are done by humans. These pharmaceutical drugs finish up in the treatment plants of wastewater because they are not specifically designed for pharmaceutical removal. Different studies had been done which showed the negative effects of these pharmaceuticals in the wastewater on species related to aquatic life.

Waste water treatment being done is not found to be successful as the testing of that water after its treatment showed that result is even worse. This can be explained by an example of the drugs which became an evidence of this worse situation. These drugs are anti-epileptic carbamazepine and antibiotic ofloxacin and when the treatment was done at a plant near Milwaukee, it was found that these drugs were present in the water in a higher concentration than they were actually used and put into that plant. The increase in the quantity of carbamazepine was seen as around 80 percent while Ofloxacin was increased by more than 120 percent after the treatment. Metabolites of these drugs are produced during the natural biochemical processes. These metabolites along the drugs become the part of the human body which come out in the excretion process and later these drugs go into the wastewater.

Pharmaceuticals need to work appropriately in the human bodies for that it is necessary that these drugs remain stable in tough conditions which are possible in any human body. If these pharmaceuticals are unable to do so, the compounds which are present in the drugs would not break down after the excretion of humans.

Previously this test had been done in other plants as well and the results were same. When the First test was and gave the output according to which quantity of both of the pharmaceutical drugs increased, their researchers thought that they would have done mistakes in samples which led them to such results.


Strange thing for the researchers is that this increase in amount in the treatment of wastewater is only seen in case of these two drugs, Carbamazepine and Olfoxacin, although there are around 46 other drugs as well which are not increased due to the treatment process.

According to Rauch Williams although there is an increase in the drugs is happening but these drugs are not present in such quantity that could affect the human beings and their health. So, there is no need to worry about them but the problem will be for the fish and other creatures in the water.

Blair told about the shortcomings of the treatment. According to him, the treatment processes are expensive and state has not prepared any regulation related to the pharmaceuticals in the wastewater. Due to these problems, these plants and treatment processes cannot be upgraded immediately.

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