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Runoff of pharmaceuticals and personal care products following application of dewatered municipal biosolids to an agricultural field

Sabourin, L., Beck, A., Duenk, P.W., Kleywegt, S., Lapen, D.R., Li, H., Metcalfe, C.D., Payne, M., Topp, E. (2009). Runoff of pharmaceuticals and personal care products following application of dewatered municipal biosolids to an agricultural field, 407(16), 4596-4604. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2009.04.027

Abstract

Municipal biosolids are a useful source of nutrients for crop production, and commonly used in agriculture. In this field study, we applied dewatered municipal biosolids at a commercial rate using broadcast application followed by incorporation. Precipitation was simulated at 1, 3, 7, 21 and 34 days following the application on 2 m2 microplots to evaluate surface runoff of various pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), namely atenolol, carbamazepine, cotinine, caffeine, gemfibrozil, naproxen, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, sulfamethoxazole, triclosan and triclocarban. There was little temporal coherence in the detection of PPCPs in runoff, various compounds being detected maximally on days 1, 3, 7 or 36. Maximum concentrations in runoff ranged from below detection limit (gemfibrozil) to 109.7 ng L- 1 (triclosan). Expressing the total mass exported as a percentage of that applied, some analytes revealed little transport potential (< 1% exported; triclocarban, triclosan, sulfamethoxazole, ibuprofen, naproxen and gemfibrozil) whereas others were readily exported (> 1% exported; acetaminophen, carbamazepine, caffeine, cotinine, atenolol). Those compounds with little transport potential had log Kow values of 3.18 or greater, whereas those that were readily mobilized had Kow values of 2.45 or less. Maximal concentrations of all analytes were below toxic concentrations using a variety of endpoints available in the literature. In summary, this study has quantified the transport potential in surface runoff of PPCPs from land receiving biosolids, identified that log Kow may be a determinant of runoff transport potential of these analytes, and found maximal concentrations of all chemicals tested to be below toxic concentrations using a variety of endpoints. Crown Copyright © 2009.

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