Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Uncovering Health Problems through New Research into Wastewater Reuse

27.07.2012
The reuse of treated wastewater can be a valuable resource in arid regions around the world, with water being reclaimed for irrigation, surface release, and groundwater recharge.
But some contaminants in the water are being identified as health problems-- especially pharmaceutically active compounds (PhACs). New research reveals better understanding of the conditions in which PhACs accumulate and degrade over time, could negate the risk of these potentially harmful compounds.

Two USDA-ARS scientists from the U.S. Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center (ALARC) studied soils from a groundwater recharge basin in Gilbert, Arizona. American Society of Agronomy and Soil Science Society of America Member Clinton Williams, and American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America Member J.E.T. McLain targeted their research on ibuprofen, caffeine, carbamazepine, and lincomycin.

One of the consequences discovered from exposure to these compounds is antibiotic resistance. Colonies of bacteria exposed to PhACs in nature, can develop into resistant strains over time, leading to diseases requiring more expensive and toxic medication. PhACs have also been linked to endocrine disruption in humans, affecting hormone glands regulating reproductive growth, metabolism, and other essential body functions. And while several past studies focused on PhACs in stream and river systems, and also irrigation practices-- there's little research regarding the accumulation in the soil of groundwater recharge systems.

This just released information from the study, which is set to appear in the September-October issue of the Journal of Environmental Quality, tracks three years of soil samples taken from a recharge basin in Gilbert, Arizona, utilizing a recharge method known as soil aquifer treatment (SAT). Williams and McLain examined the accumulation rates of PhACs to determine the long-term sustainability of the SAT system in removing contaminants.

The anti-inflammatory compound ibuprofen was measured as below detection limits in all samples. Lincomycin, an antibiotic, showed no net accumulation over the three-year study but had significantly higher concentrations closest to the surface. And the stimulant caffeine, exhibited net accumulation throughout the study, with its greatest concentrations also near the surface.

Finally, carbamazepine is a drug used to treat epilepsy and bipolar disorders. It showed accumulation over the course of the study similar to caffeine, yet had the lowest concentration of the four compounds at a depth of 0 to 5 cm. “You can look, and you can find these compounds everywhere at very low concentrations. But I’m mostly interested in what we saw happen with carbamazepine,” says Williams. “There’s something going on at the surface and that’s what I want to figure out.”

Understanding the low carbamazepine concentrations at the soil surface holds the answers to processes responsible for degrading PhACs leftover from wastewater. This could allow scientists to further increase the sustainability of wastewater reuse for groundwater recharge purposes, a crucial development for meeting future water demands, while at the same time, protecting human health.

Take a sneak peek at the abstract, at this link: https://www.soils.org/files/publications/jeq/abstracts/41-5/q11-0353-abstract.pdf

The Journal of Environmental Quality is a peer-reviewed, international journal of environmental quality in natural and agricultural ecosystems published six times a year by the American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), and the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA). The Journal of Environmental Quality covers various aspects of anthropogenic impacts on the environment, including terrestrial, atmospheric, and aquatic systems.

Teri Barr | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.sciencesocieties.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Researchers show p300 protein may suppress leukemia in MDS patients
28.03.2017 | University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

nachricht When writing interferes with hearing
28.03.2017 | Université de Genève

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers create artificial materials atom-by-atom

28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers show p300 protein may suppress leukemia in MDS patients

28.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

Asian dust providing key nutrients for California's giant sequoias

28.03.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>