Pharmaceuticals in Drinking Water Analysis

Pharmaceuticals in Drinking Water Definition
The presence of pharmaceuticals within the groundwater has become a reason for worry because it can harm the internal health of the human body. An excessive amount of pharmaceuticals like bisphenol-A, antibiotics, etc., are found within the groundwater of the United States. According to biologists, such an uncontrolled amount of pharmaceuticals for the long term can leave a serious effect on the human race.

Overview of Pharmaceuticals in Drinking Water

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In 2005, World Health Organization (WHO) had conducted a Drinking Water Quality Committee (DWQC) whose primary focus was to find out how much effect such pharmaceutical mixed drinking water can have on human health. The committee should also be responsible for providing frequent reviews of their studies, and it must include guidelines and periodic reports. While describing the presence of pharmaceuticals, the committee focuses on the possible occurrences of these ingredients within the water. However, the presence of these ingredients is mostly found within the water at very minimal levels, such as 1 microgram per 1 litter. After finding out the source of drinking water of pharmaceuticals, it has been observed that wastewater is becoming the major source of such ingredients. Therefore, during choosing the treatment technology, the committee first focused on the purification program of wastewater. Finally, the purification of drinking water took place. By repairing the leaks of water pipes and improving the sewage system, treatment technology can be carried out. By analyzing Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI), the risk of human beings can be assessed properly. Apart from that, to assess how much effect such unwanted pharmaceuticals mixed water has done, DWQC has applied Minimum Therapeutic Dose (MTD) with their drinking water.
In the year 1970, it was first found out the presence of medicines used for treating heart problems, pain killers, and contraceptive pills in wastewater. During a geological survey in that same year on wastewater, more than 50 pharmaceuticals of 130 different types were found out. According to the survey, the team has raised too many reasons for such polluted drinking water.

The main reason for such a massive amount of pharmaceuticals can be uncontrolled and damaged pipelines of excretory sewage systems that directly build a connection with wastewater.

Another cause of mixing pharmaceuticals with drinking water is the careless waste management system. Throwing unused medications and other excretory items into the drinking water pollutes the surface of the water. After a while, when that polluted water entangle with clean water, drinking water also turned into pharmaceutical affected water.

Due to conducting the test of MTD on the people of a specific country, some geological scientists used to mix a minimal level of pharmaceuticals within the drinking water. Hence water is the quickest particle to mix with its same kind so, such reminiscence of pharmaceuticals mixed drinking water can be witnessed.

Process of Removing Pharmaceuticals From Drinking Water
After taking proper measures to manage wastewater pipelines, it has been proved that the removal of pharmaceuticals has become possible. Even a completely new process has been discovered to remove that minimal amount of pharmaceutical ingredients from water. However, one should also note that only safeguarding drinking water will not help. Rather the separation process between wastewater and drinking water also should be taken care of. Some of these processes include,

Through the process of activating sludge within wastewater, biodegradation can be carried out. However, apart from that, there are ample new processes also approaching our society such as osmosis, oxidizing technique in an advanced way, etc. After applying these advanced processes, it has been found out that geologists can remove 100% pharmaceuticals from wastewater. When there is no question of pharmaceuticals within wastewater, people are very much safe even if there is any sewage problem.

Complete removal of such harmful ingredients from wastewater does half of the job. The surface of the major water body will no longer remain polluted, and there is no chance of drinking polluted water. However, if a country wants 200% assurance, it can better begin the leaching process through which groundwater will be completely filtered.

Evaluation of Risk Tolerance Level of Human Beings
Some geologists claimed that a minimum percentage of pharmaceuticals in drinking water ultimately serves good human health. According to their hypothesis, those scientists tried to evaluate the risk tolerance level of human beings by applying a minimal amount of pharmaceuticals. However, there is strict guidance of the World Health Organization (WHO) while undergoing such experiments. One of the primary restrictions is that only the usage of those ingredients is acceptable, which come under the approval of WHO and are safe for human health. However, the evaluation process depends upon a couple of factors such as,

Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI): ADI represents the condition of people after intaking pharmaceuticals mixed drinking water for a long period. If a particular group does not react upon the chemical charge, human health is unaffected by those pharmaceuticals.

Point of Departure (PoD): After applying mixed drinking water for a long time, it is important to analyze the PoD. Point of departure defines whether any toxic effect occurs or if there is any possibility of an epidemic.

No-Observed-Adverse-Effect Level (NOAEL) : It might happen that after the application of pharmaceuticals human body does not show any effect, but internally there might generate any serious health issue. NOAEL was used to evaluate that.

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