Personal care products in surface, ground and wastewater of a complex aquifer system, a potential planning tool for contemporary urban settings

Marinella Palmiotto, Sara Castiglioni, Ettore Zuccato, Angela Manenti, Francesco Riva, Enrico Davoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The use and discharge of personal care products (PCPs) result in their presence in the aquatic environment. This study investigates the occurrence and fate of some PCPs in wastewater, surface and groundwater in an urbanized area in the North of Italy. We investigated four UV filters: phenylbenzimidazole sulfonic acid (PBSA), benzophenone-3 (BP3), benzophenone-4 (BP4) and 4 methyl-benzilidine-camphor (4-MBC), and two antibacterial agents: triclosan (TCS) and triclocarban (TCC). BP3, BP4 and PBSA were detected in all WWTPs and concentrations ranged 27-822 ng/L (BP4 > PBSA > BP3). TCS was the only disinfectant detected in wastewater and ranged from <0.2 to 1690 ng/L. Removal efficiencies in WWTPs were good for BP3 and TCS (80-100%), but were quite low for PBSA and BP4 (0-40%). Consequently, PBSA and BP4 were the most abundant substances in surface water, detected up to 560.4 ng/L. TCS was also found in surface water (<0.2-161.0 ng/L). Only PBSA and TCS were found in untreated groundwater, and levels were higher in wells close to rivers, suggesting the contribution of surface water to this contamination, but not from the catchment and the sewer networks. These PCPs were confirmed to be ubiquitous in all the aquifers sampled, being reliable descriptors of human presence. The use of these data as direct indicators of pollutant's loads for the aquifers deriving from human presence could provide early warnings on chemicals that are continuously introduced into surface waters, identifying dynamic urban trends and suggesting paths for the planning in urban regions and for appropriate investment and rehabilitation strategies of infrastructure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-85
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Volume214
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 15 2018

Keywords

  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Groundwater
  • Italy
  • Triclosan
  • Waste Water
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical

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