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Chemosphere

Concentrations and specific loads of UV filters in sewage sludge originating from a monitoring network in Switzerland.


PMID 15996716

Abstract

Many substances related to human activities end up in wastewater and accumulate in sewage sludge. The present study focuses on the analysis of widely used UV filters 3-(4-methylbenzylidene) camphor (4-MBC), octyl-methoxycinnamate (OMC), octocrylene (OC) and octyl-triazone (OT) in sewage sludge originating from a monitoring network in Switzerland. Mean concentrations in stabilised sludge from 14 wastewater treatment plants were 1780, 110, 4840 and 5510 microg/kg dry matter for 4-MBC, OMC, OC and OT, respectively. Specific loads in sewage sludge show that UV filters originate mainly from private households, but surface runoff and industries may be considered as additional sources. This indicates that besides use for sunscreens and cosmetics UV filters might occur in plastics and other materials and be released to the environment by volatilization or leaching. Differences between the modeled per capita loads of UV filters in sewage sludge and the observed specific loads in sewage sludge are probably due to erroneous figures of production volumes, degradation and sorption during wastewater treatment as well as degradation processes during transport in the sewer or sludge treatment. Thus, further research is needed to elucidate the fate of UV filters after application and release into the environment. Other compounds used as UV filters should be included in future studies.

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