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About this book

This volume takes a multidisciplinary approach to study and evaluate the global human vulnerability to the exposure of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) in the natural environment. It provides a comprehensive resource on structurally diverse groups of chemical compounds that have adverse effects on the aquatic environment. It explores the global strength, environmental status, chemical risk assessment and management strategies of CECs with relevant modern techniques. The principle focus is on concurrent emerging water quality issues. It defines the impacts of the environmental exposure of trace concentrations of CECs and/or their metabolites and discusses possible technological advances to combat the emerging pollutants. It will be useful to researchers, multi-stakeholder expert groups, policymakers, and graduate students.

Table of Contents


Monitoring of Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CECs) in the Aquatic Environment


Chapter 1. Pharmaceuticals, Personal Care Products, and Artificial Sweeteners in Asian Groundwater: A Review

The presence of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) and artificial sweeteners (ASs) in groundwater is becoming a growing concern worldwide, because of their potentially adverse effect on human health and aquatic ecosystems. In this chapter, the occurrence, sources, and pathways of various PPCPs and ASs in groundwater in Asia, where groundwater has been an important source of domestic water, are reviewed, based on 23 scholarly publications of field surveys conducted in six countries (China, India, Japan, Korea, Singapore, and Vietnam). For each country, the respective studies are summarized, and detection frequencies and concentrations of 13 representative PPCPs and ASs are compared across the studies. The main sources and pathways of PPCPs and ASs in Asian groundwater were found to be infiltration of contaminated surface waters (e.g., rivers, lakes, and canals) and leakage of wastewater from sewerage systems. The utility of PPCPs and ASs as pollution markers or indicators, and the potential risk to humans and aquatic organisms, of PPCPs and ASs in Asian groundwater, are also discussed.
Keisuke Kuroda, Jun Kobayashi

Chapter 2. Affinity-Based Methods for the Analysis of Emerging Contaminants in Wastewater and Related Samples

The presence of emerging man-made contaminants in wastewater and water sources in the environment is a growing problem worldwide. Affinity chromatography is one approach that has been explored for the detection and analysis of such compounds. This approach is a chromatographic technique in which target analytes are captured based on their selective interactions with a biologically related binding agent that has been immobilized onto a support and placed within a column. Various forms of affinity chromatography have been utilized for the analysis of emerging contaminants in wastewater and the environment. Binding agents such as antibodies, molecularly imprinted polymers, and chiral stationary phases have been employed in this work, with the latter including macrocyclic antibiotics, proteins, and polysaccharide derivatives. Each of these binding agents is considered in this chapter with regards to their applications for emerging contaminants in water. Formats in which these binding agents have been used will also be described, such as off-line or online extraction, chromatographic immunoassays, and methods in which affinity chromatography has been combined with liquid chromatography, gas chromatography, and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Other binding agents, such as aptamers and boronates, will also be briefly described that may be employed in future work with affinity-based separations for the analysis of emerging contaminants in water.
Sazia Iftekhar, Susan T. Ovbude, David S. Hage

Chapter 3. Natural Attenuation of Pharmaceuticals in the Aquatic Environment and Role of Phototransformation

Pharmaceutical compounds are categorized as contaminants of emerging concern owing to their widespread consumption, persistence in the aquatic environment, development of antibiotic resistance in microorganisms, and growing evidence of chronic and endocrine disruption effects. Therefore, pharmaceuticals have been reported to exist in numerous environmental compartments, including surface water, groundwater, and drinking water throughout the world. The principal pathway of entry of these compounds into water bodies is via treated and untreated sewage. In aquatic environments, natural attenuation of pharmaceuticals takes place through various physical, chemical, and biological processes, including dispersion and dilution, volatilization, sorption onto sediments, biotransformation, and phototransformation. Among the listed attenuation processes, both direct and indirect phototransformation play an important role in deciding the fate of pharmaceuticals. In addition to cations and anions present in the aquatic environment, dissolved organic matter (DOM) can have multiple impacts during photolytic degradation, such as photosensitization, light screening, scavenging, and oxidative inhibition. The absorption of UV rays by DOM results in the formation of a variety of photochemically produced reactive radicals, such as triplet excited states of DOM (3DOM), hydroxyl radical (HO), and singlet oxygen (1O2). This work presents a thorough assessment of various attenuation processes, with specific attention to aqueous photochemistry of pharmaceuticals evaluated using laboratory-scale and on-site observations. This review will highlight the general extent of natural attenuation for specific classes of pharmaceuticals and focus on the governing mechanisms—underlying such attenuation processes based on studies conducted worldwide.
Sanjeeb Mohapatra, N. Gayathri Menon, Lokesh P. Padhye, Sankara Sarma V. Tatiparti, Suparna Mukherji

Chapter 4. Impact and Fate of Microplastics in the Riverine Ecosystem

In the recent decade, there is a global concern regarding the abundance of microplastics (MPs) and their ill effects in natural ecosystems. Due to their ill effects towards aquatic biota and possible hazards to human health, MPs are included in the class of ‘contaminant of emerging concern’. Besides marine waters, they are currently being assessed in inland waters including rivers which are being considered as the single most important source of MPs in the marine environment. This chapter tries to emphasise various processes through which MPs enter into the river ecosystems and the fate of the plastic particles thereafter. Moreover, the ecotoxic effect of MPs towards the aquatic biota, their detection techniques and possible risk management has also been discussed. The transport and fate analysis of the plastic particles through river is of highly important in the present day context to establish their abundance and to develop possible mitigation strategies to reduce human health hazard.
Dhruba Jyoti Sarkar, Soma Das Sarkar, Santanu Mukherjee, Basanta Kumar Das

Chapter 5. Assessment of Groundwater Quality in Sri Lanka Using Multivariate Statistical Techniques

Spatial variations in groundwater quality of Sri Lanka were evaluated using multivariate statistical analysis techniques. Sampling was conducted in 1262 sampling wells distributed in 25 administrative districts and the respective climatic zones in Sri Lanka. Concentration of 18 water quality parameters including natural mineral ions and heavy metal ions was measured. Sampled wells were clustered into two different clusters based on the attributes of the groundwater quality parameters. Groundwater wells located in dry and intermediate zones, which were rich in mineral ions due to rock–water interactions and lower recharge rates, were clustered into cluster 1. Shallow aquifers in the wet zone and coastal areas and wells located on alluvial aquifers were clustered into cluster 2. Groundwater well clustered under cluster 2 had high average heavy metal concentrations compared to cluster 1. Discriminant analysis (backward stepwise mode) reduced the number of discriminating parameters into ten, but they were a mixture of ions dissolved in groundwater because of anthropogenic activities and natural interactions both. Further, six factors which may influence on groundwater quality of Sri Lanka were identified in the factor analysis. The main factors were natural rock–water interactions, pollution caused by industrialization and waste discharge, agrochemical usage and infiltration of storm water rich in lead into shallow aquifers.
B. M. J. K. Balasooriya, G. G. T. Chaminda, S. K. Weragoda, Champika Ellawala Kankanamge, Tomonori Kawakami

Chapter 6. Source and Fate of Perchlorate in the Environment: A Grave Concern for World

Perchlorate (ClO4) is an emerging contaminant and considered as a worldwide problem due to its longer persistence in different environments. ClO4 was first detected in 1985 in wells at industrial sites of California, USA. ClO4 is either naturally occurring or synthetic by origin. Natural atmospheric process is responsible for formation of natural ClO4, and it is influenced by lightning and UV-mediated photo-oxidation. Another natural source is volcanic eruptions. The anthropogenic pathway of introduction of ClO4 into the environment is more dominant than the geogenic sources. Synthetic perchlorates are mainly produced for military purposes or as a propellant in solid rocket fuels. ClO4 ions are highly soluble in water and can contaminate all sources of water, soil, food, etc., and ultimately living organisms including human via food chain. In case of human, ClO4 is present in different human body fluids such as urine, breast milk, saliva and blood, and it is mainly due to the ingestion of ClO4 contaminated water and food. Due to same ionic charge and almost same ionic radius of ClO4 ions and iodide ion, iodide uptake by the thyroid follicle cells is hinderer by ingestion of ClO4. Lack of iodine uptake decreases thyroid hormone production, and this hormonal disbalance results in hyperplasia, which ultimately may lead to hypothyroidism. The World Health Organization (WHO) established provisional maximum tolerable daily intake (PMTDI) of 0.01 mg/kg body weight for ClO4. Ion chromatography is considered as the basic method of analysing ClO4 in drinking water and environmental samples. Many biological processes such as natural biodegradation, phytoremediation and bioreactor and physicochemical processes such as chemical reduction, adsorption, membrane filtration, ion exchange and electrochemical reduction or removal of ClO4 by iron nanoparticles, catalytic reactors, etc., are available for the remediation of ClO4 in contaminated environments.
Paulami Sahu

Chapter 7. Carcinogenic Nature of Emerging Contaminants: Havoc for Present and Gateway of Unhealthy Future

The term emerging contaminants refers to those substances which are released in the environment and for which yet now no specific rules are established in order to analyse their impact on surrounding. These contaminants are released in water bodies ranging from freshwater, reservoirs, lakes, rivers as well as oceans. Mainly, the sources of these contaminants include industrial untreated waste, sewage plants, agricultural waste, etc. From a very large span of time, our earth is suffering from a dreadful disease called “pollution”, water pollution being one of the major topics of concern. In order to ensure that human health remains unaffected of these hazardous chemical suspended in water bodies, a number of safety standards have been established to check the negligible amount of contaminants entering into drinking water. But this method is not sufficient to control the appearance of multiple contaminants in water bodies which are the carriers of many diseases, cancer being one such dreadful threat for human society. There are various sources of emerging contaminants like pharmaceuticals, pesticides, plasticizers, personal care products, etc. This chapter presents details of various emerging contaminants specially focussing on carcinogenic ones and their harmful effect on human health. Arsenic, radon, hazardous waste, agricultural chemical, fluoride, etc., are discussed in detail focussing on their role in various types of cancer such as lungs, breast, kidney, bladder and liver. Moreover, it is crucially needed to find economical ways to treat these contaminated water in order to reduce risk of cancer.
Tejaswini Sahoo, Jnana Ranjan Sahu, Jagannath Panda, Priyanka Nayak, Sraswati Soren, Sunil Kumar Sahoo, Rojalin Sahu

Advanced Technologies for the Removal of Contaminants of Emerging Concern


Chapter 8. Reappraisal of Permeable Reactive Barrier as a Sustainable Groundwater Remediation Technology

More than two-third of the world population depends on groundwater for drinking purpose. Several countries are on the verge of water crisis due to the overexploitation of groundwater for irrigational and industrial purposes. The available sources of water are currently affected by a large number of geogenic (As, F, NO3, etc.) and anthropogenic contaminants (Pb, Cd, Hg, etc.). These contaminants cause severe health effects both carcinogenic and mutagenic. There are several remediation technologies employed for the groundwater as well as soil remediation including pump and treat, air sparging, natural attenuation and containment. For the second and third world countries, permeable reactive barrier (PRB) can prove to be a major replacement for the already existing methods like the pump and treat. The topics which are discussed in the chapters following PRBs are its design, mechanisms, softwares, reactive materials, case studies in developed countries and its economic viability. The important aspects of using PRBs are easily available adsorbent material like compost, limestone, etc.; the time scale for which it can be used is decades, and the operational and maintenance cost are low. The chapter also includes favorable hydrogeological conditions for the installation of PRBs. It also brings the different set of adsorbents (reactive materials) that can be used for a different type of contaminants organic and inorganic. We have also looked out for the mechanism of degradation being a reduction, sorption, etc. This chapter also includes the possibility and problems which we can face during the installation of PRB in pilot-scale before implementing it at a larger scale. At last, we have compared different case studies, the filler material used, the type of construction used, the date of operational setup and cost analysis of PRBs. The chapter has been concluded in a good note depicting all the pros and cons of PRBs.
Alok Kumar Thakur, Manish Kumar

Chapter 9. An Insight into Microbial Remediation of Hexavalent Chromium from Contaminated Water

Chromium (Cr) is used by different industries like ferrochrome, electroplating, and tanning industries, because of its hardness, coloration, and anti-corrosive properties. Chromium exists in various oxidation states in the environment, out of which trivalent (Cr3+) and hexavalent chromium (Cr6+) are generally found in aqueous medium. Hexavalent chromium is mutagenic and carcinogenic and causes various health implications. Thus, the removal of Cr6+ from the contaminated environmental matrix especially water is of fundamental importance for environmental technologists and policy makers alike. Various remediation technologies are proposed by the researchers  and microbial remediation techniques are recognized as an effective and economic solution for Cr6+ removal from effluents. Bacteria and Archean species growing in Cr-contaminated soil or water can evolve various biochemical mechanisms to combat the Cr6+ toxicity, and these acclimatized microbes can be effectively used for efficient bioremediation of Cr6+-contaminated wastewater. Hexavalent chromium tolerance and reduction have been observed in various microbial species like Bacillus, Pseudomonas, Nesterenkonia, Staphylococcus, and Arthrobacter. This chapter gives a critical insight into the utility of these microbes for the reduction and subsequent removal of Cr6+ from contaminated water. This chapter also shed light on the utility of microbes for Cr6+ removal and to understand the mechanism of their Cr-tolerance, remediation. The focus is to identify an economic, easy, and eco-friendly technique that can be applied on both the pilot and larger scale to cater Cr6+ free water to the populace. This work concludes that, mixed   culture-based bioreactors constructed with Cr6+-tolerant, acclimatized microbial stains can be effectively used in treating Cr6+ contaminated wastewater.
Aliya Naz, Abhiroop Chowdhury, Brijesh Kumar Mishra

Chapter 10. Review on Trends in the Removal of Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) from Water and Wastewater

Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), such as disinfectants, fragrances (e.g., products for body cleaning, sunscreens, and lotions), household chemicals, and drugs to cure human and animal diseases, are considered to be the most emerging contaminants in water bodies. These products are known to transform slightly or are often unchanged with time and enter into the aquatic environment. Although PPCPs have been detected frequently throughout the world, they still remain unregulated or currently undergoing a regularization process. Various PPCPs are persistent or pseudo-persistent and deteriorate wastewater quality, human health as well as the ecosystem. Moreover, they are also known to be bio-accumulative in organisms. Thus, it is essential to find a solution to achieve an effective removal of these emerging pollutants before their discharge. The main objective of this work was an exclusive review of the existing literature on PPCPs removal from water. The pros and cons of the reported PPCPs removal processes are reviewed critically and presented in this paper.
Suvendu Manna, Uttariya Roy, Anirban Biswas, Shubhalakshmi Sengupta, Piyali Basak, Papita Das

Chapter 11. Nanotechnology: An Efficient Technique of Contaminated Water Treatment

In current time, a large mass of people are facing the risk of dangerous and dreadful diseases due to exposure to unclean water and it is also reported that around thirty-five per cent of people die due to contaminated water consumption. To solve these problems, it is highly necessary to adopt a better technique of water purification in order to conserve water resources. Nanotechnology is a promising technique which ensures better water quality due to the use of advanced technology of filtration materials which results in desalinization, recycling and reuse of water, thereby resulting in better performance as well as efficient method for decontaminating wastewater and providing secured water supply. This chapter throws light on the advanced applications of nanotechnology in wastewater treatment. The various types of nanomaterials like carbon nanotubes, graphene-based, metal and metal oxide-based, zeolites, nanocomposites, metal–organic frameworks are discussed focussing on their structures and performances in the removal of water contaminants. Moreover, few bioremediation techniques for the purification of water are also discussed. The toxicity of the nanomaterial after treatment of wastewater on the environment also needs to be tackled carefully to ensure the safety of the environment which is also mentioned in this chapter.
Graphic Abstract
Tejaswini Sahoo, Jnana Ranjan Sahu, Jagannath Panda, Madhuri Hembram, Sunil Kumar Sahoo, Rojalin Sahu

Chapter 12. Chlorophenols Dechlorination Water Treatment Using Ni-Iron Bimetallic Systems: Implications of the Degree of Chlorination, Nickel Coating, and Iron Oxide Phases

Chlorophenols (CPs) have been detected as contaminants causing groundwater and potable water pollution. Toxicity of CPs increases with the increase in the degree of chlorination. This study aimed at investigating the efficiency of Nickel coated iron (Ni/Fe) bimetal for CP dechlorination water treatment. The emphasis was on the effect of degree of chlorination, Nickel coating, and iron oxide films on possible removal mechanisms of CPs such as dechlorination and sorption, co-precipitation, physical entrapment with iron oxides (i.e. incorporation). Batch experiments were conducted with Ni/Fe and four CPs [pentachlorophenol (PCP), 2,3,4,6-tetrachlorophenol (2,3,4,6-TeCP), 2,4,6-trichlorophenol (2,4,6-TCP), 2,4-dichlorophenol (2,4-DCP)], single CP at a time, under identical, and anoxic conditions. Reactivity of CPs with Ni/Fe was PCP > 2,3,4,6-TeCP > 2,4,6-TCP ≈ 2,4-DCP with 55, 46, 34, and 30% of the respective compounds initially introduced to each system removed from the solution after 25 days. Dechlorination of PCP and 2,3,4,6-TeCP resulted in accumulation of lower CPs and trace amounts of phenol with 93–96% mass balance. The 2,4,6-TCP and 2,4-DCP concentrations decreased over time, but a noticeable increase in the corresponding dechlorination products was not observed. Furthermore, the reaction of 2,4,6-TCP and 2,4-DCP resulted in the formation of iron oxides (akaganeite, hematite, lepidocrocite, goethite, and wustite) causing Ni/Fe surface passivation. Incorporation with such iron oxides was a significant removal process of 2,4,6-TCP and 2,4-DCP by Ni/Fe. The higher pKa of 2,4,6-TCP (5.97-7.42) and 2,4-DCP (7.68) and passive oxides could lead to 2,4,6-TCP and 2,4-DCP and their degradation products towards a greater affinity for incorporation with the iron oxides. In conclusion, dechlorination potential of Ni/Fe was greater for CPs with a high number of chlorine (PCP, TeCP). The CPs with a low number of chlorine (TCP, DCP), when reacted with Ni/Fe, demonstrated a low preference for dechlorination but a greater affinity for removal by incorporation with the iron oxides.
Buddhika Gunawardana, Naresh Singhal, Peter J. Swedlund

Chapter 13. Reigning Technologies and Their Challenges for Antibiotics Removal

There has been an increase in demand for antibiotics due to the rapid growth of population. Antibiotics have been extensively and efficiently used in human, veterinary medicines, and several other purposes. Their potential benefits were recognized to increase the production of agriculture, animal husbandry, and aquaculture and to promote the growth of livestock. This increasing demand for antibiotics leads to their presence in the environment as contaminants, and hence, it results as a major source of contaminant. The long-term persistence of antibiotics residues in the environment cause severe effects on the various environmental components like human life, aquatic life, flora and fauna, the ecology of the compartment, etc. Hence, the removal of antibiotics contaminants is very important. There is a different method which can be used to remove antibiotics contaminants from water, like conventional and advanced treatment, sorption techniques, membrane processes, and ecological processes like constructed wetlands, integrated constructed wetland, etc. But there are major challenges in the removal of antibiotics contaminants from water because they are highly polar and have very low concentration, their no standard permissible limits defined by any organization in the world (as per the author review). This review gives an overview of antibiotics removal technologies and associated challenges.
Chandrashekhar Bhagat, Manish Kumar, Pranab Kumar Mohapatra

Chapter 14. Antibiotic Resistance, Its Health Impacts and Advancements in Their Removal Techniques with a Focus on Biological Treatment

Resistance to antibiotics in microbes is of serious concern to human health. Antibiotic resistance bacteria and genes are naturally present in pristine environment since ages. Animal feedlot wash, farm and agricultural wastewater, municipal wastewater, excessive production and illegal disposal of antibiotic drugs further aid to prevalence and development of antimicrobial resistance in the water environment. Resistance can be transferred to non-resistance strains through horizontal gene transfer and can directly or indirectly impact human health. In this scenario, much advancement in water treatment technologies has emerged to address the issue. However, a great deal of knowledge of different pathogenic microbes, their resistance mechanism and spread in environmental compartments and effect on health is lacking. Therefore, detailed study needs to be conducted to estimate potential risk and water treatment plants and effluent discharge should be designed and monitored meticulously.
Rajneesh Kumar, Payal Mazumder, Mohammad Jawed

Chapter 15. An Overview of Natural Water Contamination and Sustainable Attenuation Techniques: Challenges and Opportunities

The concept of natural attenuation of environmental contaminants has been evolved through the harnessing of natural clean up processes (volatilization, biodegradation, sorption, bioaccumulation, dilution, precipitation, dispersion, etc.) for the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Although several researches have been conducted in the last few decades on several aspects (geochemical parameters, performance evaluation, isotope labelling approaches, environmental biotechnology, etc.) of the natural decontamination technologies, a focused overview on its significance for performance-based monitoring and risk assessment of sustainable remediation measures are rare in the literature. In this chapter, the basic science of the water quality treatment, occurrence/fate, and contaminant biodegradation has been discussed along with the mobility and biological detoxification of pollutants. The microbial diversity surrounding the contaminant plume and mechanism of contaminant removal have been elucidated along with special emphasis on the response of the microbial communities toward various kinds of pollutant dynamics. Microbial community shifts in response/vicinity of the contaminated area within a natural wetland ecosystem have also been documented to explore the metabolic network of ecological interactions based on microbial population dynamics. Moreover, a critical assessment on the state-of-the art removal techniques and rate of dissipation of natural contaminants has been presented. Furthermore, the present chapter highlights the major pollutant detoxification pathways and their impact on groundwater flow regime.
Nivedita Pradhan, Santanu Mukherjee, Manish Kumar

Chapter 16. Fantastic Floating Weeds and How to Use Them

Water hyacinth, an aquatic weed, is contemplated as a toxic plant worldwide and also it spreads rapidly and attenuates nutrient and oxygen from water bodies and has harmful effects on both aquatic plants and animals. Native of Latin America, it spread now to all over the world and is mostly seen as a menace. However, unlike most weeds it has many beneficial aspects. Therefore, transformation of this troublesome noxious weed to better-quality products and conversion to efficient energy seems sustainable option for developing countries and needs to be explored. The present review focuses on the various recent studies on beneficial chemicals/products and biogas generated from water hyacinth as well as its probabilities of success in commercialization.
Payal Mazumder, Jyoti, Ajay S. Kalamdhad, Meena Khwairakpam

Chapter 17. Scope of Conventional Versus Advanced Technologies for the Control and Prevention of Emerging Contamination

Owing to on-going demographic shifts, urbanization and changing life styles supported by rapid industrialization, pollution by so-called emerging contaminants (ECs) is a rising environmental and public health concern globally.
Anjana Srivastava

Chapter 18. Perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS), Its Occurrence, Fate, Transport and Removal in Various Environmental Media: A Review

From the past two decades, perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) has been the mostly studied chemical of PFC family, due to its widespread occurrence at global level. The occurrence of PFOS in different environmental media such as surface water, wastewater, sludge/biosolids, groundwater, human and other biota raised concerns about potential hazards to human. Combining various research studies on various aspects of PFOS, this review study summarized worldwide occurrence, fate and transport of PFOS in different environmental media along with the removal technologies for its remediation. With upgrading methods of detection, several countries provided guidelines for PFOS considering human health. It was observed that the natural surface water has higher concentration of PFOS in developed and more industrialized countries than that of developing/undeveloped one. Its occurrence in WWTP effluents indicates the inability of conventional biological treatments toward PFOS removal. PFOS in drinking water became a major route of exposure to human and other animals. Various advanced processes like physical adsorption, membrane filtration and several redox processes showed promising potential toward PFOS removal efficiency. The future challenge is to minimize the cost and increasing the efficiency of these methods. From the literature reviewed, knowledge gaps are identified, and future directions are provided accordingly.
Kiran Dhangar, Manish Kumar
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