Session 7.6: Emerging pollutants and water quality: Perspectives of scientists, policy makers and operational water management on advancing the field.
Emerging pollutants such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) are getting more traction in the field of water quality. Pharmaceuticals, such as antibiotics, antidepressants, hormones, and blood lipid regulators, are typically found in many surface waters; in the concentration range of ng/l to low µg/l. Pharmaceuticals may mimic natural occurring compounds, thus having the potential to disrupt behavior and communication between organisms. Through a combination of increasing global consumption rates, metabolically stable compounds and inefficient removal of pharmaceuticals through wastewater treatment plants, the projected levels in surface are likely to rise in the next decades, making pharmaceuticals a potential risk for ecosystem health and eventually to humans. At the same time, knowledge on chronic ecological impacts of mixtures of emerging pollutants and efficient removal by wastewater treatment plants lags behind. In this session, we will not only show the state-of-the-art on PPCPs removal, but also identify knowledge gaps in the current evaluation of the impact of PPCPs on ecosystem and human health. This session brings together scientists, policy makers and operational water managers to offer their perspective on advancing the field.
Chair - T. Vasconcelos Fernandes