One Man’s Cure is Everybody’s Poison

Last week, we discussed the problems with antibiotics and how municipal wastewater treatment plants(WWTP) like ours worsen the spread of antibiotics, antibiotic-resistant genes(ARG) and antibiotic-resistant bacteria(ARB) into the environment.

This week, we expand our scope on pollutants to the subset of WHO’s persistent organic pollutants that encompass antibiotics, biocidal compounds, pharmaceuticals and endocrine disruptors; which I’ll term as bio-disruptive organic compounds (BOC) for the purpose of this post.

BES folks might recognise endocrine disruptors as an emerging pollutant in freshwater systems; but for the sake of those unaware, these BOCs alter hormone levels in organisms in a way that causes harm to the organism, its offspring, or those around them(Bergman, Heindel, Jobling, Kidd, & Zoeller, 2012; Godfray et al., 2019).

As the term “emerging pollutant” might allude to, new endocrine disruptors and BOCs are being discovered or manufactured(Bergman et al., 2012). Some of these originate from completely unintuitive sources: I mean, imagine flame retardants changing your hormone levels(Godfray et al., 2019)! I wouldn’t even have thought to look there for BOCs!

Not to mention, household products (especially plastics, glues, lubricating oils) contain plasticizers like phthalates, BPA and flame retardants like Polybrominated diphenyl ethers(PBDE) that are also endocrine disruptors(Monneret, 2017).

Yes…even I’m guilty.
Plastic containers, lubricants, and even vinyl flooring contain BOCs that can be washed into our sewers(Monneret, 2017).

Think about it, every time you wash your utensils, ride a public bus or wash your floor: we are washing BOCs down our sewers. With all due respect to PUB, our municipal WWTPs are still under-equipped to ensure complete and utter removal of all BOCs from our wastewater stream(Sui et al., 2015). I must stress utter removal because BOC concentrations of parts per trillion(ppt) are still harmful(Godfray et al., 2019).

Remember our 4 national taps? Yep, that same catchment water Sui et al (2015) found BOCs in bounces straight back at us. Of course, nothing is happening to our aquatic ecosystems or drinking water as of yet; but we can’t say with certainty that there will not be an ARB outbreak., an emergent BOC contamination, or any side effects of chronic exposure to BOCs

No point crying over spilt drugs, let’s talk solutions. The problem? Elevated concentrations of Diclofenac and Carbamazepine in ppt to ppb, and Caffeine in ppb to ppm; found around the Jurong Lake Catchment(Tran, Li, Hu, & Ong, 2014).

While there probably won’t be a universal solution to eliminate these BOCs from our wastewater, there is a particular pilot test that achieved significant results in a context analogous to Singapore’s WWTPs that I would like to present. A pilot plant utilising a novel technology, known as Membrane Distillation(MD), was implemented at Swedish WWTP as an alternative to an existing reverse osmosis array for the purpose of pharmaceutical wastewater treatment(Fortkamp et al., 2015). To put it simply, instead of using high pressures to squeeze water through a porous membrane, a selective hydrophilic membrane that only allows vaporised wastewater through is used.

The pilot managed to reduce Diclofenac, Carbamazepine, and Caffeine concentrations to below 3 ppt(Fortkamp et al., 2015). However, outstanding costs for heating wastewater was identified(Fortkamp et al., 2015). Fortunately, since PUB’s WWTPs recycles biogas for energy generation, a similar MD system with virtually no extra energy expenditure may be possible!

A possible opportunity to install a membrane distillation unit in our WWTPs. Source: https://www.pub.gov.sg/PublishingImages/PUB_29_UsedWaterConventionalTreatment%20PA-01.png

^Back to the Top^

References:

Bergman, Å., Heindel, J., Jobling, S., Kidd, K., & Zoeller, R. T. (2012). State-of-the-science of endocrine disrupting chemicals, 2012. Toxicology Letters. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.toxlet.2012.03.020

Fortkamp, U., Royen, H., Klingspor, M., Ekengren, Ö., Martin, A., & Woldemariam, D. M. (2015). Membrane Distillation pilot tests for different wastewaters.In IVL Report B 2236: https://www.ivl.se/download/18.7e136029152c7d48c201f3/…/B2236.pdf

Godfray, H. C. J., Stephens, A. E. A., Jepson, P. D., Jobling, S., Johnson, A. C., Matthiessen, P., … McLean, A. R. (2019). A restatement of the natural science evidence base on the effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals on wildlife. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2018.2416

Monneret, C. (2017). What is an endocrine disruptor? Comptes Rendus – Biologies. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.crvi.2017.07.004

Sui, Q., Cao, X., Lu, S., Zhao, W., Qiu, Z., & Yu, G. (2015). Occurrence, sources and fate of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in the groundwater: A review. Emerging Contaminants. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.emcon.2015.07.001

Tran, N. H., Li, J., Hu, J., & Ong, S. L. (2014). Occurrence and suitability of pharmaceuticals and personal care products as molecular markers for raw wastewater contamination in surface water and groundwater. Environmental Science and Pollution Research. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-013-2428-9

Additional Note:

If you would like to read more about Membrane Distillation, check out this book at National Libraries!

Specifically, pages 305-350. Really interesting stuff!

 

^Back to the Top^

 

5,527 thoughts on “One Man’s Cure is Everybody’s Poison

  1. As you apply the flame and inhale, you’ll notice the herbs start to smolder. Continue to inhale slowly, drawing the smoke into your lungs. Be mindful not to inhale too forcefully, as this can cause the herbs to burn too quickly or become too hot.

    How to use glass blunt

  2. Thank you for providing such great information. Amica Pakistan is the premier solar energy company in Pakistan, renowned for its exceptional products and services. With a commitment to sustainable and clean energy solutions, Amica Pakistan has solidified its position as the No 1 solar company in pakistan. Their cutting-edge technology, expert team, and dedication to customer satisfaction make them the top choice for anyone seeking reliable and efficient solar solutions. Whether for residential, commercial, or industrial applications, Amica leads the way in harnessing the power of the sun to meet Pakistan’s energy needs.
    Website : https://amicapakistan.com/

  3. 中文黑客接单网址 中文黑客接单网址:黑客接單

    我们拥有来自世界不同各地的黑客技术精英,该网站主要针对需要黑客服务的中文用户!

  4. “I can tell you put a lot of effort into researching yifysubs and presenting your articles. It’s evident in the depth of your analysis, and your ability to break down complex ideas into easily understandable concepts. Kudos!”

  5. sattaking
    Satta King Gali game, sattaExpress 786, find and play Satta King Gali gali online, sattaExpress , Satta King Gali 2022, sattaExpress chart, gali result, disawar result, faridabad result, ghaziabad result.

  6. The sex doll torso is a very light mini sex doll. Usually, its weight is 4kg to 20kg. These sex doll torsos are made of TPE or silicone. Of course, they are all very safe materials.sex doll torso

  7. “Struggling to prepare for your Praxis exam? Let us take the stress out of your hands! Our expert team is here to help you ace your Praxis exam with confidence. We offer professional Praxis exam services, including comprehensive study materials, personalized tutoring, and full exam-taking assistance. Don’t let exam anxiety hold you back – trust us to handle your Praxis exam while you focus on your studies. Visit us now and say goodbye to worries, hello to success!”
    Take My Praxis Exam For Me

  8. BG Interiors is widely regarded as one of the Best Interior Design In Pakistan Known for its innovative and aesthetic designs, their team of experienced professionals creates elegant and functional spaces that reflect clients’ tastes and needs. With a strong portfolio and positive client reviews, BG Interiors is synonymous with excellence in interior design in Pakistan.

  9. 中文黑客接单网址 中文黑客接单网址:駭客平台
    我们拥有来自世界不同各地的黑客技术精英,该网站主要针对需要黑客服务的中文用户!

  10. Today, I was just browsing along and came upon your blog. Just wanted to say good blog and this article helped me a lot, due to which I have found exactly I was looking. metatrader

  11. Experience top-tier Walk-In Refrigerator Repair in Ottawa. Our skilled technicians swiftly diagnose and repair commercial refrigeration units, ensuring minimal downtime for your business. We offer 24/7 emergency service, guaranteeing your refrigeration needs are met promptly. Trust us to keep your business running smoothly with our reliable, international-standard repair services in Ottawa. Walk in Refrigerator Repair Ottawa

  12. Excellent website! I adore how it is easy on my eyes it is. I am questioning how I might be notified whenever a new post has been made. Looking for more new updates. Have a great day! mt4

  13. What is an outstanding post! “I’ll be back” (to read more of your content). Thanks for the nudge! mt4

  14. 中文黑客接单网址 中文黑客接单网址:黑客平台
    我们拥有来自世界不同各地的黑客技术精英,该网站主要针对需要黑客服务的中文用户

  15. Are you feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of your PMP exam? Take the stress out of the equation with our expert services. We offer a reliable and confidential solution – you can pay someone to take your PMP exam for you. Our experienced professionals are well-versed in the intricacies of the PMP exam, ensuring you receive top-notch assistance. With us, you can focus on your priorities while we handle the exam on your behalf. Don’t let exam anxiety hold you back; trust us to deliver the results you need. Pay someone to take your PMP exam today and pave the way for your project management career success.
    Pay Someone To Take My PMP Exam

  16. Thank you for some other informative blog. Where else could I get that type of information written in such an ideal means? I have a mission that I’m just now working on, and I have been at the look out for such information. THC Vape

  17. brainboost.blog is your one-stop shop for all things health and wellness. From healthy recipes to fitness tips, brainboost.blog has everything youhealthline need to live a healthy lifestyle.

  18. contemplation and introspection intertwine effortlessly. Meanwhile, the theaters come alive with performances that transcend language and culture, evoking a myriad of emotions that 娛樂城

  19. It is a place where the young and the young at heart come together to embrace the magic of the present moment and create memories that last a lifetime. 娛樂城

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *