What are micro pollutants?
Micro pollutants are chemicals found in trace amounts in the environment, ranging from g/L to below mg/L. Pesticides, medicines, cosmetics, flame retardants, perfumes, waterproofing agents, plasticizers, and insulating foams are just some of the substances that can be found in micropollutants. Pharmaceuticals and personal hygiene products (PPCPs) as well as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are two of the most common anthropogenic contaminants found in water.
Micropollutants are everywhere, and they're frequently used to help people live better lives. As a result, controlling the source of these chemicals in the aquatic environment is difficult. Many studies of pharmaceutical and EDC pollution in a range of habitats, including surface water, groundwater, drinking water, and wastewater, have found high levels of micropollutants in the water environment. Emerging micropollutants (EMPs) in water are a significant source of environmental and public-health concern around the world. There is, however, a scarcity of data on their amounts and occurrence in water.MPs are so identified by their anthropogenic origin and low concentration occurrence.
Micropollutant Sources and Transport in the Environment:
Micropollutants in the water environment come from a variety of places, with residential wastewater being a major cause of surface water contamination. Pharmaceuticals from hospitals, drug stores, and convenience stores are regularly found in aquatic settings; some of these drugs are available without a prescription (e.g., acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin).Despite the fact that these medications are made for human and animal healthcare, they are not entirely digested in the body. Humans and animals excrete both leftover medicines and their metabolites into wastewater. Pharmaceuticals can also be found in waste from the manufacturing process and expired medications.
Occurrence of Micropollutants in Water:
Micropollutants in surface water have recently received a lot of attention. Untreated wastewater effluent from WWTPs can be discharged directly into rivers, lakes, rivers, and reservoirs. Due to hydrological influence, emitted micropollutants might be naturally deposited on sediments or transferred to other locations. Chemical and biological breakdown of these chemicals in surface water can also convert them to by-products. Some micro-contaminants, on the other hand, are likely to survive and accumulate in surface waters.
In most nations, surface water is the primary source of drinking water in areas where the population is growing rapidly. As a result, micropollutants in surface waters can infiltrate WTPs, and various researches have reported their presence in drinking water.People are unwittingly exposed to these micropollutants when they drink, cook, or bathe with tap water. As a result, the removal of micropollutants by WTP is critical for the production of drinking water. However, due to the presence of micropollutants in tap water, current water treatment methods are unable to entirely remove micropollutants from WTP.
Micropollutants in Water and Human Health:
Pharmaceuticals are among the micropollutants that have aroused concerns about the impact of accidental exposure on individuals and ecosystems. These exposures can generate persistent bioaccumulation in the ecosystem when considering the food chain. Chronic exposure to the human body may have unknown health consequences.
Human health hazards have been linked to persistent medication exposure in drinking water in previous research.Contamination with micropollutants has the potential to be harmful to human health. Although the health implications of trace micropollutants are unknown, people's negative sentiments towards reused tap water can grow.
Because micropollutants are becoming a public health concern, water quality regulations and recommendations are required to ensure that people have access to clean drinking water.