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2024 | Book

Organic Micropollutants in Aquatic and Terrestrial Environments

Editors: Rahul Bhadouria, Sachchidanand Tripathi, Pardeep Singh, Rishikesh Singh, Harminder Pal Singh

Publisher: Springer Nature Switzerland


About this book

This book offers a comprehensive overview of the origins, occurrences, and remediation strategies for organic micropollutants in the environment. Divided into five parts, the book starts with a perspective on the sources and prevalence of organic micropollutants in our world, including aquatic ecosystems and urban soils, followed by an examination of the effects of these contaminants on health, agriculture, and the environment. In the third and fourth parts of the book, readers will learn more about the analysis and detection of organic micropollutants, and treatment and remediation strategies, respectively. The book closes with an overview of policies and regulatory measures, and critiques the fate of organic micropollutants in the aquatic environment.

In this book, particular attention is given to topics such as:

the intricate relationship between micropollutants, the environment, and human healthsustainable management, treatment methods and remediation for micropollutants in wastewater, urban water systems, freshwaters, urban soils, and agricultureecotoxicity analysis and innovative bioremediation approachesReaders will also find a valuable discussion of the current contamination status of aquatic ecosystems by pharmaceutical and personal care micropollutants, the latest methodologies for analysing organic micropollutants, and a case study on the biodegradation pathways of hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH).

Given its breadth, this book is a useful resource for scientists, researchers, policymakers, and anyone concerned about the ecological and human health impacts of organic micropollutants.

Table of Contents


Organic Micropollutants: Origin and Occurrence in the Environment

Organic Micropollutants in Environment: Origin and Occurrence
It is relatively recent in the history of human development that societies are facing the challenge of figuring out the fate and occurrence of organic micropollutants (OMPs) in the environment as well as their ecological significance. When these pollutants are discharged continuously without any regulatory measures, even at low concentrations, they may pose an environmental threat. In recent studies, many OMPs have been analyzed for their environmental fates and ecotoxicological effects. Chronic exposure to OMPs may cause ecosystem damage, but acute toxicity is unlikely at environmental concentrations. The purpose of this book chapter is to discuss the role played by OMPs including their origin, types, occurrences, and adverse effects on the environment and human health. Detection and analysis of OMPs in the environment will begin with the development of sensitive and robust methods. If proper measures are not taken by the relevant authorities and scientific community, unwanted consequences may result.
Amar Jyoti Kalita, Jyotirmoy Sarma, Akangkhya Hazarika, Srishti Bardhan, Nabanita Hazarika, Panchami Borppujari, Debajit Kalita, Sanchayita Rajkhowa
Contamination of Aquatic Ecosystem with Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Micropollutants
The event of micropollutant occurrence in the water ecosystem from the past few decades has become a matter of solicitude. Micropollutants are the emerging contaminants that include an array of anthropogenic and natural substances, particularly pharmaceutical products like antibiotics and personal care products. Studies suggest that consumption of products containing pharmaceutical compounds is metabolized in the body and is eventually released into water bodies via urine and feces. The presence of micropollutants in the water bodies is linked with an array of short- and long-term toxicity in living beings and antibiotic resistance in pathogenic microorganisms. The wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) practices adopted are not particularly tailored to remove micropollutants of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs). Thus, several micropollutants pass through the treatment process. Moreover, owing to persisting nature and continuous introduction, they are often detected in aquatic environment. Presently, the guidelines and standards regarding discharge of most of the micropollutants do not exist. Moreover, comprehensive scenarios on existence of various micropollutants in water bodies and their elimination via existing treatment processes are not well documented. The present chapter attempts to furnish details on the contamination of aquatic ecosystems with PPCP micropollutants, discusses their impact on humans and the environment, and delineates the role of bioremediation in their management.
Siddhant Srivastava, Swati Sachdev
Organic Micropollutants in the Urban Soils: Technological Advances and Management Concerns
Organic micropollutants simply known as micropollutants or emerging contaminants have become a serious concern for the environment because of their nature of entry into the environment and also due to their persistent nature. With anthropogenic activities at the heart of their production and introduction into the environment, these pollutants are so called due to their concentration found in nature which ranges from micrograms to picograms per liter or kg. These pollutants come from a variety of products that include personal care products (PPCPs), perfluoroalkyl and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), nanomaterials, steroid hormones, pesticides, plastics, and synthetic materials. One of the major concerns related to these compounds is their sources of existence in the environment that include groundwater, fresh water, soil, marine ecosystem, sediments, and dust. The occurrence of such substances in the environment can severely affect marine life, wildlife, and human societies. Therefore, knowledge about various micropollutants, their sources of production and introduction into the environment, and their effects on various life forms is of paramount importance. Hence, in the following chapter we will discuss about types of micropollutants, their occurrences and sources of production, and their effects on different life-forms.
Ravneet Kaur, Harleen Kaur, Swapnil Singh, Neetu Jagota, Ashutosh Sharma, Ashish Sharma

Effects of Organic Micropollutants on the Environment and Human Health

Assessment of Environmental Pollutants for Their Toxicological Effects of Human and Animal Health
An environmental pollutant is any material that is present in the environment and is hazardous to humans or the lives of any living species but is necessary for human existence and well-being. This chapter focuses on environmental chemical and agricultural pollutants (ECPs and EAPs) comprising either organic or inorganic materials. Chemical pollutants can be both natural and man-made, and they are mostly found in the air, water, and soil. Natural ECPs can occasionally be caused by naive or reckless human behavior. The bulk of ECPs are man-made and the product of human activities striving to improve life quality through industrialization. All ECPs can be harmful to human health because they are risk factors for diseases ranging from respiratory difficulties to cancer. Additionally, some ECPs, such as carbon dioxide, are released into the atmosphere as a result of industrial activity, which may indirectly negatively influence the life on Earth by contributing to global warming. Unlike natural ECPs, government regulation can limit or even prevent synthetic ECP production. The ECP cleanup is challenging and costly from an economic standpoint and necessitates highly specialized knowledge. Pesticides, toxic farm chemicals, and fertilizers are some of the most widespread EAPs. Pollution of the air, water, soil, and marine environments is just the beginning; these contaminants also pose a threat to human health through the plants and animals that humans eat. It has been noted that EAPs can cause hormonal disruptions in both animals and humans, and crop exposure to various contaminants in high quantities from air and water will result in reduced yields and growth and early mortality of plants. The economic impact of EAPs is represented in the costs of remediation and disease treatment caused by them. The current chapter focuses on the important environmental pollutants and their various biological or toxicological impacts on human and animal health.
M. V. N. L. Chaitanya, Smriti Arora, Rashmi Saxena Pal, Heyam Saad Ali, B. M. El Haj, Rajan Logesh
Organic Micropollutants and Their Effects on the Environment and Human Health
The rapid increase in the urbanization process across the world leads to the production of micropollutants (MPs) that adversely impact the environment and threaten our health. These micropollutants based on their natural properties are categorized as organic micropollutants (OMPs) such as organochlorine pesticides, hormones, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, etc. and inorganic micropollutants including heavy metals. The chemicals used in various agricultural practices, industries, medical fields, power generation, and water treatment are few among key polluters. These MPs are highly toxic, persistent, and nondegradable, which slowly accumulate in living organisms and also exhibit the potential to transport over longer distance through the environment. MPs influence human health mainly by eliciting various dysfunctions like neurodevelopmental defects in children, thyroid disorders, bone defects, and endocrine-related malignancy. These pollutants also degrade soil health and its associated microbes, various biogeochemical processes associated with soil ecology, and genetic alteration in microbes. The fate, incidence, and eco-toxicological effect of MPs in the environment are a rather new challenge countenance by human societies. The emancipation of these MPs in the absence of any regulatory procedure leads to cause major environmental concerns even at their very low concentrations. The consequences of these MPs in the environment are not necessarily due to their persistence; however, it exists due to their active biological nature collectively with their continuous emission, which makes them emerging pollutant. This chapter includes the types of micropollutants, their sources, pathways, fate, distribution, and possible remediation of MPs in the environment. The future perspective is to develop eco-friendly and cost-efficient methods for the identification and fate of various micropollutants and their metabolites as well as various policies to reduce their concentration in the environment.
Archna Kumar, Deepika, Dhruv Tyagi, Tarkeshwar, Kapinder
Occurrence and Toxicity of Organic Microcontaminants in Agricultural Perspective: An Overview
Organic micro-pollutants (OMPs) are an increasing global concern that contaminate important environmental matrices. The OMPs in agriculture include di-(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP), nonylphenol (NP), nonylphenol mono-ethoxylate (NP1EO), and diethoxylates (NP2EO), polychlorinated biphenyl congeners (PCB), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and linear alkyl benzene sulphonates (LAS), microplastic (styrene-based polymer, polyesters, polyethylene, polypropylene, polyamide), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) (like DDT, heptachlor, and aldrin), flunixin (veterinary drug), herbicides (Diuron, mecoprop, 2-methyl-4-chlorophenoxyacetic acid), and terbuthylazine (pesticides). OMPs enter the soil-water ecosystem via a variety of routes, including irrigation water in agricultural settings, the discharge of expired pharmaceuticals, the use of biosolids or animal excreta, sewage effluent, and industrial operations, among others. Furthermore, OMPs enter the food chain via a variety of pathways, including groundwater, agricultural soil, and irrigated water. All of these contaminants’ final host is soil, where soil microbes break them down biologically. Adding chemicals can speed up the process, but using physical methods to remove OMPs is expensive. These OMPs disrupt different soil biogeochemical processes, harm soil quality and microbial diversity, and cause genetic alterations in the microbial ecology. The persistence of the OMP raises the risk to human health as it moves up the food chain. Limitations on the release of new OMPs into the environment are not yet available to developing nations. This needs to be taken into consideration to establish limitations based on scientific evidence. This chapter focuses on the prevalence and concentration patterns of organic micro-pollutants (OMPs) in agricultural fields, as well as their routes of transfer to agricultural land and associated control measures.
Hardik Giri Gosai, Foram Jadeja, Asha Sharma, Shilpi Jain

Assessment and Detection Methodologies for Organic Micropollutants

Comprehensive Methods for the Analysis of Organic Micro pollutants
An issue that civilizations have just recently had to deal with is the fate and incidence of organic micro-pollutants (OMPs) and their ecotoxicological significance. Even at relatively modest quantities, the continuous drainage of these pollutants deprived of any regulatory laws may have a negative impact on the ecosystem. The current chapter covers numerous analytical methods used on various micro-pollutants. It also elaborates on the challenges in analyzing these pollutants and evaluates the potential of each instrument in the analysis process. Also, it discusses about possible environmental dangers and looks for techniques for their elimination. The adoption of a multi-trophic environmental risk assessment (ERA) framework, as recommended for the ERA, should be agreed upon for synthetic pesticides and insecticide proteins generated in transgenic crops.
Soumeia Zeghoud, Hadia Hemmami, Ilham Ben Amor, Bachir Ben Seghir, Abdelkrim Rebiai, Imane Kouadri
Methodologies for the Detection and Remediation of Organic Micropollutants in Terrestrial Ecosystems
At present, most of the terrestrial ecosystems are highly contaminated, due to continuous discharge of a diverse range of organic micropollutants (OMPs) from different sources in the environment without adequate treatment. Considering the detrimental impacts of OMPs on both the environment and human health, treatment is imperative before discharge. To treat the continual emissions of OMPs (including personal care products, pesticides, heavy metals, dyes and pharmaceutical active compounds), various methods such as adsorption, coagulation, flocculation, ozonation, electro-oxidation and electro-coagulation were continually proposed and implemented. So far various conventional methods for OMP degradation have been studied extensively, but failed due to its expensive and inefficient nature. To overcome the drawbacks associated with these existing methods, these can be replaced by environmentally safer and cost-effective methods. Biological treatment methods are capable of efficiently removing OMPs even at lower and higher concentrations in an environmentally safer and cost-effective manner. Numerous microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, algae and the enzymes released from these microorganisms, have recently been used in biological methods for the remediation of OMPs. To give significant insight into the technology used for the removal of OMPs, this chapter comprehensively reviewed the current removal methods, mechanisms and comparisons of methods with their advantages and disadvantages as well as future outlooks and recommendations.
Jatinder Singh Randhawa
Assessment, Obstacles, and Risk Communication for Organic Micropollutants in the Urban Water
Industries, despite of playing an imperative role in economic development all around the world, are also considered to be the major pollutant sources as they emit an incredible quantity of organic micropollutants into the environment. Ranging from pharmaceuticals, hormones, pesticides, and plasticizers to personal care products (PCPs), several organic micropollutants are discharged into water although in quantities as small as micrograms but their effect on the aquatic ecosystem and terrestrial environment is beyond control. This eventually raises issues regarding drinking water purity and human health. Though various remediation and treatment technologies are introduced in recent years for the abatement of organic micropollutants, it is observed sometimes that the transformation products prove to be more toxic as compared to parent micropollutants. In this chapter, the possible types and updated sources of organic pollutants are discussed in light of the urban water cycle. Apart from that, light is also shed on the impacts of organic micropollutants on the biotic as well as abiotic components of the ecosystem. The potential bottlenecks of available treatment technologies are also explained in an explanatory manner.
Jaskiran Kaur

Treatment and Remediation Approaches for Organic Micropollutants

Organic Micropollutants in the Freshwater Ecosystem: Environmental Effects, Potential Treatments, and Limitations
Organic micropollutants (OMPs) are widely used the derivatives of pesticides, pharmaceuticals, personal care products, plasticizers, insulating foams, etc. which are widely used. A total of 53 micropollutants in all, including pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs such as sulfamethoxazole and ibuprofen), pesticides (like heptachlor and diazinon), and industrial chemicals (including perfluorooctanesulfonic acid and 4-nonylphenol), was found using metadata analysis. In a freshwater ecosystem, OMPs are introduced through biomedical waste, municipal waste, pharmaceutical waste, and fertilizers. The hazardous potential of OMPs is measured in terms of environmental persistence and mobility. OMPs are significant pollution agents that threaten human health and environmental matrices (air, water, soil, food, etc.). A variety of OMPs get adsorbed on nano-plastics and micro-plastics and get migrated to aquatic organisms where these pollutants desorb and get released into the digestive system of aquatic organisms. Long-term inputs of OMPs also cause bioaccumulation in aquatic systems and become an integral part of the food chain. In the last few decades, researchers have come up with various OMP removal and treatment techniques including fumigation, chemical-based oxidation, UV photolysis, membrane process, adsorption, advanced oxidation process (AOP), etc. These processes are again modified for maximum outputs. In AOPs (UV radiation oxidation) radical representatives (Cl, OH, O3) attacked micropollutants. The membrane process when applied with the reverse osmosis process is comparatively more effective. This chapter covers the detection and concentration of OMPs in a freshwater ecosystem and how these OMPs are transported to the freshwater ecosystem as well as their environmental impacts along with various treatment techniques.
Asha Sharma, Foram Jadeja, Hardik Giri Gosai, Shilpi Jain
Organic Micropollutants in Wastewaters: Advances in Sustainable Management and Treatment Methods
Organic micropollutants present in water prepared for consumption in trace amounts can pose a serious threat to the health of consumers. Most of these compounds are hardly biodegradable; therefore, their complete elimination from drinking water is extremely burdensome. Legal acts regulating the quality and quantity of water intended for human consumption, although they are very restrictive in Europe and consider many toxic compounds, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and trihalomethanes (THM), do not regulate the concentrations of all hazardous substances for human and animal health. Unregulated compounds include polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which, despite their toxic nature, are not listed in the national Regulations of the Ministry of Health on the quality of water intended for human consumption. The key objectives of this chapter are to describe the various types of contaminants that can potentially affect drinking water, identify their sources and detection processes, and propose safe and effective water treatment procedures; this chapter discusses the causes of water pollution with organic micropollutants and the presence of PCB congeners, as well as the mechanisms and the result of their impact on natural components and human health. After using conventional systems for the technological treatment of drinking water, total organic matter (TOC), THM (trihalomethanes), and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) in surface waters are not eliminated. Hopes for water purification with organic micropollutants are raised with alternative methods of water treatment. However, this requires a comprehensive research and a combination of activities of ecological engineering, organic chemistry, and environmental engineering.
Barbara Sawicka, Mohammed Messaoudi, Viola Vambol, Sergij Vambol, Nadjet Osmani, Wafa Zahnit, Dominika Skiba, Ilham Ben Amor, Bachir Ben Seghir, Abdelkrim Rebiai
Organic Micropollutants in the Environment: Ecotoxicity Potential and Bioremediation Approaches
A wide range of organic compounds, metals, and other substances which are emitted in our environment in very small concentrations are categorized as micropollutants. These substances are used by all of us in our everyday lives, while some are emitted into the environment in greater quantities as a result of large-scale industrial processes. Microplastics, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have been detected in marine and terrestrial ecosystems and cause toxicological effects. These micropollutants persist in the environment for a longer duration and undergo bioaccumulation in the food chain in an ecosystem. Bioremediation is a sustainable technology for the abatement of these targeted pollutants in naturally contaminated sites. Bioremediation is a method of using microorganisms or plants for the removal of organic pollutants. It is one of the cost-effective and advantageous techniques over conventional physical and chemical methods. In this chapter, we are discussing exposure and fate of these pollutants among invertebrates, vertebrates, plants, crops, and humans. Potential risk factors, abatement of organic micropollutants through the bioremediation process, and future strategy have also been highlighted.
Shalini Gupta
Organic Micropollutants in Agricultural System: Ecotoxicity, Risk Assessment and Detection Methods
Agriculture is considered as the backbone of all the developing countries not only for their livelihood but also as economic support. However, since the inception of agricultural practices, there is a continuous warfare between human and various detrimental candidates such as plant pathogens, weeds, phytophagous pests, etc. To combat these, synthetic chemicals such as pesticides, fertilizer and other related chemicals are used to enhance agricultural yield. However, non-judicious, inadvertent and indiscriminate use of these organic micropollutants (OMPs) caused detrimental effects on the environment and human health.
Organic micropollutants (OMPs) enter into the biotic-abiotic system through variable modes like irrigation water, animal excreta as manure/compost, sewerage wastewater, pesticide, fertilizer, etc. from where they reach the food system via various entry points like agricultural soil, groundwater, contaminated crops and fruits and finally via bioaccumulation to the food chain. Traces of OMPs are still being reported even from some of the discontinued pesticides such as DDT, heptachlor and atrazine in drinkable water. OMPs are stated to be more toxic as compared to their parent compounds and thus considered as potential threat to human health by triggering neurological dysfunctions, endocrine disruption and metabolism malfunctioning. OMPs are perils to biological elements of the ecosystem by damaging soil quality and alter soil biogeochemical processes and its micro-floral-faunal diversity by inducing genetic alterations. In addition to economical diversion for pesticides and synthetic agrochemical production, the deleterious effects of OMPs and their management will further raise a financial burden both for developed and developing countries. Hence, cost-effective, extensive screening methodologies, analytical techniques and scientific evidence-based robust technologies need to be developed for the identification, quantification and remediation of OMPs from soil, water and agricultural yield to discharge effective and healthy agroeconomic practices.
Archna Kumar, Deepika, Dhruv Tyagi, Tarkeshwar, Kapinder
Process of Removing Organic Micropollutants Using Advanced Oxidation Techniques
Our environment is frequently being laced with organic pollutants owing to the anthropogenic activities, leading to varying concentrations of pollutants in the atmosphere. However, certain micropollutants, present in very low concentrations, can have severe implications for living organisms. This problem has been addressed by the development of remediation procedures to cleanse environment of micropollutants, where advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) emerged as the most potent technique. AOPs are oxidation-based methods used to remove micropollutants from water. Different processes such as ozonation, electrochemical AOPs, photocatalysis, and Fenton-based AOPs have been employed to remediate various kinds of micropollutants. AOPs offer several advantages over traditional removal techniques, making them a promising tool for micropollutant removal. This chapter highlights the working mechanisms and benefits of different AOPs such as ozonation, Fenton-based AOPs, etc. used to lower micropollutant levels. Further research into these technologies could prove valuable for environmental remediation.
Harleen Kaur, Ravneet Kaur, Neetu Jagota, Swapnil Singh, Ashutosh Sharma, Ashish Sharma
Biodegradation Pathways of Hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH): A Case Study
Lindane is the γ-isomer of hexachlorocyclohexane, used extensively in modern agriculture. It enters into the food chain and adversely impacts various life forms. The pesent paper discusses the nature's microbial remediation mechanism of transforming toxic substances into non-toxic metabolites which helps in biodegradation pathways, and possibilities of wasteland reclamation.
Divya Agarwal, Anil K. Gupta, Mohammad Yunus

Organic Micropollutants in the Environment: Concluding Remarks

Fate of Organic Micropollutants in Aquatic Environment: Policies and Regulatory Measures
Aquatic environments are pervasively contaminated with organic micropollutants (OMPs), a wide array of substances encompassing pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and pesticides. These contaminants have the potential to cause harm to aquatic organisms and pose risks to human health. This chapter comprehensively overviews OMPs’ sources and fates (roots and products) in aquatic environments. The chapter begins by discussing the sources of OMPs, which include point sources such as wastewater treatment plants and industrial discharges as well as non-point sources such as agricultural runoff and atmospheric deposition. Moreover, the fate of OMPs in aquatic environments, including sorption, biodegradation, and photodegradation, was described. Furthermore, this review encompassed the examination of analytical methodologies employed for the identification and quantification of OMPs in aquatic ecosystems, including other methods such as advanced technological and biological methods and newer methods such as passive samplers and high-resolution mass spectrometry. We conclude by highlighting the challenges and future directions in the study of OMPs in aquatic environments, including the need for more comprehensive field and laboratory research, the development of more effective treatment technologies, and the integration of chemical and biological approaches to assess the potential risks of OMPs. Finally, this chapter will provide a valuable resource for researchers, policymakers, and stakeholders interested in understanding the sources and fates of OMPs in aquatic environments.
Abdulhamid Yusuf, Fidelis Odedishemi Ajibade, Temitope Fausat Ajibade, Ogunniran Blessing Ifeoluwa, Kayode Hassan Lasisi, Nathaniel Azibuike Nwogwu, Bashir Adelodun, Pankaj Kumar, Ifeoluwa Funmilola Omotade, Christopher Oluwakunmi Akinbile
Organic Micropollutants in Aquatic and Terrestrial Environments
Rahul Bhadouria
Sachchidanand Tripathi
Pardeep Singh
Rishikesh Singh
Harminder Pal Singh
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