Special Issue "Emerging Pollutants: Nature, Analysis, Occurrence, Health Effects and Removal Technologies"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Science and Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Gerardo León
Website
Guest Editor
Universidad Politecnica de Cartagena, Departamento de Ingeniería Química y Ambiental, Cartagena, Spain

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Pollution is one of the most important environmental problems that affect our world. Traditionally, research on water pollution was focused almost exclusively on priority pollutants, substances that present a significant risk to human health or the environment. Recently, that research has also been extended to so-called “emerging pollutants”, contaminants previously unknown or not recognized as such, whose presence in the environment is not necessarily new, but about whose possible consequences there is concern. They are unregulated pollutants, which may be candidates for future regulations, depending on their potential effects on human health and ecosystems. Emerging pollutants are increasingly studied and characterized worldwide both to improve the understanding of their environmental impact and to look for technologies that allow their efficient removal. 

The list of emerging pollutants includes a wide variety of compounds of different nature, structure, and uses, including drugs, psychostimulants, disinfectants, personal care products, surfactants, additives and industrial agents, sweeteners, pesticides, nanomaterials, microplastics, etc. Metabolites and degradation products of the groups just mentioned are also considered emerging pollutants.

This Special Issue aims to cover the recent development and advancement on all aspects related to emerging pollutants, such as nature, identification, analytical procedures, occurrence, health effects, and individual and combined removal/degradation technologies, including biological (aerobic and anaerobic), physical (adsorption, membrane processes, etc.), chemical (reduction processes, classical and advanced oxidation process, etc.), and electrochemical technologies.

Both research and review papers are welcome.

Prof. Dr. Gerardo León
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.dlhwdz.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • emerging pollutant
  • nature
  • identification
  • analysis
  • occurrence
  • health effect
  • individual removal/degradation technology (biological, physical, chemical, electrochemical)
  • combined removal/degradation technology

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Fate of Emerging Contaminants in High-Rate Activated Sludge Systems
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(2), 400; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020400 - 06 Jan 2021
Abstract
High-rate activated sludge (HRAS) systems are designed to shift the energy-intensive processes to energy-saving and sustainable technologies for wastewater treatment. The high food-to-microorganism (F/M) ratios and low solid retention times (SRTs) and hydraulic retention times (HRTs) applied in HRAS systems result in the [...] Read more.
High-rate activated sludge (HRAS) systems are designed to shift the energy-intensive processes to energy-saving and sustainable technologies for wastewater treatment. The high food-to-microorganism (F/M) ratios and low solid retention times (SRTs) and hydraulic retention times (HRTs) applied in HRAS systems result in the maximization of organic matter diversion to the sludge which can produce large amounts of biogas during anaerobic digestion, thus moving toward energy-neutral (or positive) treatment processes. However, in addition to the energy optimization, the removal of emerging contaminants (ECs) is the new challenge in wastewater treatment. In the context of this study, the removal efficiencies and the fates of selected ECs (three endocrine disruptors (endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs))—nonylphenol, bisphenol A and triclosan, and four pharmaceuticals (PhACs)—ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac and ketoprofen) in HRAS systems have been studied. According to the results, EDCs occurred in raw wastewater and secondary sludge at higher concentrations compared to PhACs. In HRAS operating schemes, all compounds were poorly (<40%) to moderately (<60%) removed. Regarding removal mechanisms, biotransformation was found to be the dominant process for PhACs, while for EDCs sorption onto sludge is the most significant removal mechanism affecting their fates and their presence in excess sludge. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Markers Specific to Bacteroides fragilis Group Bacteria as Indicators of Anthropogenic Pollution of Surface Waters
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(19), 7137; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17197137 - 29 Sep 2020
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the applicability of markers specific to Bacteroides fragilis group (BFG) bacteria as indicators of anthropogenic pollution of surface waters. In addition, the impact of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) on the spread of genes specific to [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the applicability of markers specific to Bacteroides fragilis group (BFG) bacteria as indicators of anthropogenic pollution of surface waters. In addition, the impact of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) on the spread of genes specific to fecal indicator bacteria and genes encoding antimicrobial resistance in water bodies was also determined. Samples of hospital wastewater (HWW), untreated wastewater (UWW), and treated wastewater (TWW) evacuated from a WWTP were collected, and samples of river water were taken upstream (URW) and downstream (DRW) from the wastewater discharge point to determine, by qPCR, the presence of genes specific to BFG, Escherichia coli and Enterococcus faecalis, and the abundance of 11 antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and two integrase genes. The total number of bacterial cells (TCN) in the examined samples was determined by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Genes specific to BFG predominated among the analyzed indicator microorganisms in HWW, and their copy numbers were similar to those of genes specific to E. coli and E. faecalis in the remaining samples. The abundance of genes specific to BFG was highly correlated with the abundance of genes characteristic of E. coli and E. faecalis, all analyzed ARGs and intI genes. The results of this study indicate that genes specific to BFG can be used in analyses of human fecal pollution, and as indicators of environmental contamination with ARGs. A significant increase in the copy numbers of genes specific to BFG, E. coli, and seven out of the 11 analyzed ARGs was noted in samples of river water collected downstream from the wastewater discharge point, which suggests that WWTPs are an important source of these genes in riparian environments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Atrazine Removal from Municipal Wastewater Using a Membrane Bioreactor
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2567; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072567 - 09 Apr 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
As the demand for potable water increases, direct potable reuse of wastewater is an attractive alternative method to produce potable water. However, implementation of such a process will require the removal of emerging contaminants which could accumulate in the drinking water supply. Here, [...] Read more.
As the demand for potable water increases, direct potable reuse of wastewater is an attractive alternative method to produce potable water. However, implementation of such a process will require the removal of emerging contaminants which could accumulate in the drinking water supply. Here, the removal of atrazine, a commonly used herbicide, has been investigated. Using real and synthetic wastewater, as well as sludge from two wastewater treatment facilities in the United States in Norman, Oklahoma and Fayetteville, Arkansas, atrazine removal has been investigated. Our results indicate that about 20% of the atrazine is removed by adsorption onto the particulate matter present. Significant biodegradation of atrazine was only observed under aerobic conditions for sludge from Norman, Oklahoma. Next-generation sequencing of the activated sludge revealed the abundance of Noncardiac with known atrazine degradation pathways in the Norman aerobic sludge, which is believed to be responsible for atrazine biodegradation in our study. The detection of these bacteria could also be used to determine the likelihood of biodegradation of atrazine for a given wastewater treatment facility. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Development of Surface Molecularly Imprinted Polymers as Dispersive Solid Phase Extraction Coupled with HPLC Method for the Removal and Detection of Griseofulvin in Surface Water
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(1), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17010134 - 24 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Griseofulvin (GSF) is clinically employed to treat fungal infections in humans and animals. GSF was detected in surface waters as a pharmaceutical pollutant. GSF detection as an anthropogenic pollutant is considered as a possible source of drug resistance and risk factor in ecosystem. [...] Read more.
Griseofulvin (GSF) is clinically employed to treat fungal infections in humans and animals. GSF was detected in surface waters as a pharmaceutical pollutant. GSF detection as an anthropogenic pollutant is considered as a possible source of drug resistance and risk factor in ecosystem. To address this concern, a new extraction and enrichment method was developed. GSF-surface molecularly imprinted polymers (GSF-SMIPs) were prepared and applied as solid phase extraction (SPE) sorbent. A dispersive solid phase extraction (DSPE) method was designed and combined with HPLC for the analysis of GSF in surface water samples. The performance of GSF-SMIPs was assessed for its potential to remove GSF from water samples. The factors affecting the removal efficiency such as sample pH and ionic strength were investigated and optimized. The DSPE conditions such as the amount of GSF-SMIPs, the extraction time, the type and volume of desorption solvents were also optimized. The established method is linear over the range of 0.1–100 µg/mL. The limits of detection and quantification were 0.01 and 0.03 µg/mL respectively. Good recoveries (91.6–98.8%) were achieved after DSPE. The intra-day and inter-day relative standard deviations were 0.8 and 4.3% respectively. The SMIPs demonstrated good removal efficiency (91.6%) as compared to powder activated carbon (67.7%). Moreover, the SMIPs can be reused 10 times for water samples. This is an additional advantage over single-use activated carbon and other commercial sorbents. This study provides a specific and sensitive method for the selective extraction and detection of GSF in surface water samples. Full article
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