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 Novel anti-cancer nanomedicine for efficient chemotherapy
17.09.2019 | University of Helsinki

nachricht Researchers have identified areas of the retina that change in mild Alzheimer's disease
16.09.2019 | Universidad Complutense de Madrid

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: Happy hour for time-resolved crystallography

Researchers from the Department of Atomically Resolved Dynamics of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg, the University of Hamburg and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) outstation in the city have developed a new method to watch biomolecules at work. This method dramatically simplifies starting enzymatic reactions by mixing a cocktail of small amounts of liquids with protein crystals. Determination of the protein structures at different times after mixing can be assembled into a time-lapse sequence that shows the molecular foundations of biology.

The functions of biomolecules are determined by their motions and structural changes. Yet it is a formidable challenge to understand these dynamic motions.

Im Focus: Modular OLED light strips

At the International Symposium on Automotive Lighting 2019 (ISAL) in Darmstadt from September 23 to 25, 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, a provider of research and development services in the field of organic electronics, will present OLED light strips of any length with additional functionalities for the first time at booth no. 37.

Almost everyone is familiar with light strips for interior design. LED strips are available by the metre in DIY stores around the corner and are just as often...

Im Focus: Tomorrow´s coolants of choice

Scientists assess the potential of magnetic-cooling materials

Later during this century, around 2060, a paradigm shift in global energy consumption is expected: we will spend more energy for cooling than for heating....

Im Focus: The working of a molecular string phone

Researchers from the Department of Atomically Resolved Dynamics of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg, the University of Potsdam (both in Germany) and the University of Toronto (Canada) have pieced together a detailed time-lapse movie revealing all the major steps during the catalytic cycle of an enzyme. Surprisingly, the communication between the protein units is accomplished via a water-network akin to a string telephone. This communication is aligned with a ‘breathing’ motion, that is the expansion and contraction of the protein.

This time-lapse sequence of structures reveals dynamic motions as a fundamental element in the molecular foundations of biology.

Im Focus: Milestones on the Way to the Nuclear Clock

Two research teams have succeeded simultaneously in measuring the long-sought Thorium nuclear transition, which enables extremely precise nuclear clocks. TU Wien (Vienna) is part of both teams.

If you want to build the most accurate clock in the world, you need something that "ticks" very fast and extremely precise. In an atomic clock, electrons are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Society 5.0: putting humans at the heart of digitalisation

10.09.2019 | Event News

Interspeech 2019 conference: Alexa and Siri in Graz

04.09.2019 | Event News

AI for Laser Technology Conference: optimizing the use of lasers with artificial intelligence

29.08.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Novel mechanism of electron scattering in graphene-like 2D materials

17.09.2019 | Materials Sciences

Novel anti-cancer nanomedicine for efficient chemotherapy

17.09.2019 | Health and Medicine

Fungicides as an underestimated hazard for freshwater organisms

17.09.2019 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>