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Title: The sources and environmental fate of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in lowland river catchments
Author: Treadgold, James William
ISNI:       0000 0004 2716 6713
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2012
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The presence of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) and their potential to induce adverse biological effects in aquatic environments has been the subject of increased scientific and public interest. Over the last thirty years, a range of PPCPs including antibiotics, antidepressants, antimicrobials, cardiovascular drugs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and phthalates have been found in water bodies all over the world. Unlike many other potential pollutants, there are currently no consent standards on concentrations for most pharmaceuticals that can be discharged to the environment. This environmental concern therefore creates the need to understand the source inputs and the environmental fate mechanisms responsible for removing these PPCPs from the aquatic environment. As a result, this thesis aimed to further knowledge of the sources and environmental fate of PPCPs using the principles of the Water Framework Directive to deliver holistic understanding to water policy issues. This new approach to source assessment is useful for developing more realistic site specific environmental risk assessments that can identify catchments and causes of environmental concern. Further research regarding source assessment addresses nursing homes as a relatively understudied source and compares the consumption of drugs to residential households to find that nursing homes have the potential to input more pharmaceuticals to the aquatic environment. In light of the new sources, the next step was to study the aquatic fate of PPCPs. Experimental fate studies show degradation rates and removal mechanisms are influenced by the environmental conditions of the catchment. The findings of the research aimed to facilitate catchment management of PPCPs and inform future water policy.
Supervisor: Voulvoulis, Nick Sponsor: NERC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral