Pharmaceuticals in Wastewater

Authors: Olivia Caton; Marina Como; Jacqueline Cardin

Advisor: Steven Kmiotek

Category: Undergraduate

Pharmaceuticals are known to cause detrimental environmental effects including the increase of antibiotic resistant bacteria and development issues in animals, but research is still limited. This study aims to observe the effect current wastewater treatment methods have on three pharmaceuticals (SMZ, azithromycin, and salicylic acid) by analyzing their concentrations after seven treatment stages. Utilizing SPE and LC-MS, we determined the effluent concentrations of SMZ and azithromyicin were 81 ppb and 209 ppb, respectively, with similar concentrations appearing in surface water. This study did not observe a reduction in pharmaceutical concentration with current wastewater treatment methods, but noted their potential.


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