This study modeled the impact on freshwater ecosystems of pharmaceuticals detected in biosolids following application on agricultural soils. The detected sulfonamides and hydrochlorothiazide displayed comparatively moderate retention in solid matrices and, therefore, higher transfer fractions from biosolids to the freshwater compartment. However, the residence times of these pharmaceuticals in freshwater were estimated to be short due to abiotic degradation processes. The non-steroidal anti-inflammatory mefenamic acid had the highest environmental impact on aquatic ecosystems and warrants further investigation. The estimation of the solid-water partitioning coefficient was generally the most influential parameter of the probabilistic comparative impact assessment. These results and the modeling approach used in this study serve to prioritize pharmaceuticals in the research effort to assess the risks and the environmental impacts on aquatic biota of these emerging pollutants. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Sep 2013|
- Freshwater ecotoxicity
- Land application
- Multimedia fate modeling
- Probabilistic comparative impact