Emerging Water Pollutants: Concerns and Remediation Technologies

Lifecycle Assessment of Emerging Water Pollutants

Author(s): Nisa Waqar-Un*, Luqman Riaz, Aansa Rukya Saleem, Samia Qadeer, Tahir Hayat Malik, Nazneen Bangash, Talat Ara and Audil Rashid

Pp: 178-203 (26)

DOI: 10.2174/97897815040739122010010

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Emerging pollutants (EPs), also known as contaminants of emerging concern, include pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), surfactants, plasticizers, pesticides, etc., and the pharmaceuticals and personal care products are extensively used for therapeutic and non-therapeutic purposes in health care settings, livestock industry, and agriculture. Consumption and production of PPCPs have generated significant quantities of toxic waste in affluent entering the water streams, which poses a risk to aquatic life, public health, and the ecosystem. Given the potential toxicity impacts, continuous exposure to PPCPs is of critical concern. However, the concentrations of PPCPs in the environment are low. Efforts are being made to synergize efficient and cost-effective PPCPs removal technologies to remediate these pollutants from the environment. Still, the success rate is low because of their low concentration (ppb or ppt) and complex chemical structure. Common wastewater treatment technologies are not found efficient enough to attain their complete elimination from the aquatic matrix. Concurrently, ecological problems associated with water quality and aquatic life are aggravated in the prone areas, particularly in the developing world, owing to inadequate monitoring, data management, and treatment facilities. The lifecycle assessment (LCA) is an effective tool for efficient monitoring, quantification, and damage incurred by various stages from production to possible disposal. This chapter summarizes the LCA process of PPCPs, including the release and accumulation, to examine the impacts and associated risks to water quality, the aquatic environment, and ultimately human beings. Furthermore, the deep insight of LCA will help to understand the kinetics of pollutants in environment exchange pools and help fill the existing knowledge gaps that would be a certain better step for management and remediation.

Keywords: Analgesics, Antibiotics, Bioaccumulation, Bioconcentration, Cradle to grave analysis, Emerging pollutants, Endocrine disruptors, Food additives, Hormones, ISO-14001, Lifecycle assessment, Lifecycle impact assessment, Lifecycle inventory, Monitoring, Personal care products, Pharmaceuticals, Steroids, Surfactants, Wastewater treatment, Water footprints.

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