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Emerging Contaminants in Soil and Groundwater Systems
2022, 5-47

Occurrences and impacts of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in soils and groundwater

Yicheng Yang, Yulin Zheng, Jinsheng Huang, Yue Zhang, Bin Gao

Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, United States.


Pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) are a unique group of chemicals of emerging concerns that are often present only at trace levels in soils and groundwater. After being released into the environment, PPCPs may impose great risks to the ecosystems and human health even at ultralow doses. This chapter first gives an overview of the classifications of the diverse array of PPCP compounds. It then outlines the main sources and pathways of PPCP pollution in soils and groundwater with focus on discharges from domestic sewage and landfills. Current analytical techniques for detecting and quantifying PPCPs in soils and groundwater are also discussed in detail. After that, the risks and impacts of various PPCP compounds are summarized. The chapter also covers the potential translocation into plants and antibiotic resistance of PPCPs. In addition, it presents two case studies focusing on sulfonamides and N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET) in soils and groundwater. Perspectives and potential future research topics are discussed at the end of the chapter.

Keywords: Antibiotics, hormones, steroids, chemicals of emerging concern, subsurface, risks and impacts.

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