The presence of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs), such as antibiotics, antimicrobial disinfectants, nonprescription drugs, personal care products, pharmaceuticals, and steroids, in water resources can impact aquatic and human health. A large portion of the CECs entering regional wastewater treatment plants originate from hospitals. The purposes of this study were to conduct exploratory analytical work to characterize two hospital wastewaters and to evaluate treatment of CECs at hospitals before dilution with domestic wastewater. A 24-h batch reaction with biogenic manganese oxides coated onto coir fiber was used to treat the wastewaters. Organic contaminants in the wastewaters were concentrated by both liquid-liquid extraction (LLE) and solid-phase extraction (SPE). LLE extracts were analyzed by Comprehensive Two-Dimensional Gas Chromatography/Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (GC × GC-TOFMS) while SPE extracts were analyzedby UltraHigh Performance Liquid Chromatography/Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (UHPLC-TOFMS). Fifty-two organic micropollutants were detected (26 by GC × GC-TOFMS, 25 by UHPLC-TOFMS, 1 by both) in the wastewaters, while 29 were removed by >90% and six were degraded by <50% after treatment. Control experiments revealed that sorption to coir fiber and oxidation by manganese oxides were the primary contaminant removal mechanisms. Both the LLE and SPE extracts were used to evaluate potential human toxicity of the hospital wastewaters before and after treatment. Twenty-eight human cell-based bioreceptor assays were used to screen the wastewaters, and secondary tests were run to quantify toxicity equivalents to activated receptors. The wastewaters initially contained organic micropollutants that strongly activated the Androgen Receptor, Estrogen Receptor β, and the Mineralocorticoid Receptor but no bioactive compounds were detected after treatment. Point-of-entry treatment of hospital wastewater should reduce bioactive compounds from entering the environment.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment to WB, FD, and JVH. LC was supported by the Fulbright Commission of Colombia and Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana seccional Bucaramanga. The GC???GC-TOFMS system was an instrument grant from Leco Corporation to FD. Luis Castillo Meza ? formal analysis, writing ? original draft, Paulina Piotrowski ? formal analysis, writing ? review and editing, James Farnan ? formal analysis, Travis L. Tasker ? formal analysis, Boya Xiong ? formal analysis, Benedikt Weggler ? formal analysis, Kyra Murrel ? formal analysis, Frank L. Dorman ? supervision, writing ? review and editing, John P. Vanden Heuvel ? methodology development, writing ? review and editing, and William D. Burgos ? supervision, writing ? original draft, writing ? resubmitted manuscript.
This research was supported by the Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment to WB, FD, and JVH. LC was supported by the Fulbright Commission of Colombia and Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana seccional Bucaramanga. The GC × GC-TOFMS system was an instrument grant from Leco Corporation to FD.
© 2019 Elsevier B.V.
- Contaminants of emerging concern
- Manganese oxides
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article