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Pharmaceutical and personal care products in groundwater, subsurface drainage, soil, and wheat grain, following a high single application of municipal biosolids to a field

Gottschall, N., Topp, E., Metcalfe, C., Edwards, M., Payne, M., Kleywegt, S., Russell, P., Lapen, D.R. (2012). Pharmaceutical and personal care products in groundwater, subsurface drainage, soil, and wheat grain, following a high single application of municipal biosolids to a field, 87(2), 194-203. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2011.12.018

Abstract

Dewatered municipal biosolids (DMBs) were applied to a field at a rate of ∼22Mgdwha-1 in October 2008. Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) were monitored in groundwater, tile drainage, soil, DMB aggregates incorporated into the soil post-land application, and in the grain of wheat grown on the field for a period of ∼1year following application. Over 80 PPCPs were analyzed in the source DMB. PPCPs selected for in-depth monitoring included: antibiotics (tetracyclines, fluoroquinolones), bacteriocides (triclosan, triclocarban), beta-blockers (atenolol, propranolol, metaprolol), antidepressants (fluoxetine, citalopram, venlafaxine, sertraline), antifungals (miconazole), analgesics (acetaminophen, ibuprofen) and anticonvulsants (carbamazepine). PPCPs in tile were observed twice, ∼3weeks and 2months post-application. Of all PPCPs measured in tile drainage, only carbamazepine, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, triclosan, triclocarban, venlafaxine, and citalopram were detected (5-74ngL-1). PPCPs were not detected in groundwater >2m depth below the soil surface, and concentrations above detection limits at 2m depth were only observed once just after the first rain event post-application. In groundwater, all compounds found in tile, except carbamazepine, acetaminophen and citalopram, were detected (10-19ngL-1). PPCPs were detected in DMB aggregates incorporated in soil up to 1year post-application, with miconazole and fluoxetine having the lowest percent reductions over 1year (∼50%). For several compounds in these aggregates, concentration declines were of exponential decay form. No PPCPs were detected in the grain of wheat planted post-application on the field. No PPCPs were ever detected in water, soil or grain samples from the reference plot, where no DMB was applied. © 2012.

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