Contributions from Healthcare Facilities to the overall Mass Loading of Pharmaceuticals on Wastewater Treatment Plants
Riaz ul Haq, Muhammad
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The presence of human pharmaceuticals in the aquatic environment is now becoming a well-established fact. The identified problems associated with their presence include the fact that these compounds are biologically active, some of them are toxic in nature, and a number of compounds have potential to foster and maintain drug resistant microorganisms. They are discharged into the aquatic environment from a variety of sources, but mainly by the excretion of incompletely metabolized pharmaceuticals by individuals into the wastewater. This situation makes finding a source-control strategy difficult. However, healthcare facility (hospitals and long-term-care homes) effluents are suspected to have relatively higher concentrations of these compounds, as such facilities use pharmaceuticals in large amounts for diagnostic, cure and research purposes. It is expected that controlling discharges from these facilities may provide a cost-effective solution to reduce the pharmaceutical loads entering the aquatic environment.