Indian drug consumption has skyrocketed in recent years, with Indians filling 3.7 billion prescriptions each year.
After being excreted from the body or when unused medication is flushed down the toilet, the chemicals in these drugs end up in waterways. To remove pharmaceutical compounds from your water, significant upgrades are required.
Let’s see the effect of water pollution caused by pharmaceutical industries in India and their effective treatment.
How to Water pollution caused by pharmaceutical industries in India?
Pollutants enter water bodies primarily through the following sources:
Pharmaceutical manufacturing plants, hospitals, wastewater treatment plants, and so on. As a result, they have a negative impact on land, water, food, and people's health.
The pharmaceutical industry has a significant impact on groundwater and surface water pollution. It is estimated that approximately 60000 new-borns die in India each year, as a result of multidrug-resistant infections, which are caused by pharmaceutical water pollution with antimicrobial drugs.
How does these impact humans?
Pharmaceutical compounds are found in rivers and streams at much lower concentrations, than the normally prescribed doses, but there is concern that chronic exposure to multiple compounds could cause serious health problems, and that compounds can act synergistically to cause adverse health effects.
Endocrine disruptors, which can be found in a variety of agricultural, industrial, and domestic sources, including pharmaceuticals, are of particular concern. These compounds interfere with internal biological processes.
A solution to water pollution caused by pharmaceutical industries
Several organizations, including Netsol Water, have been working to establish water treatment systems to assist pharmaceutical companies.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) of India has issued guidelines to various pharmaceutical industries, in order to achieve zero liquid discharge. The Ministry of Environment, Forestry, and Climate Change has also stated that, industries must install WWTPs to continuously monitor effluent.
Methods of Advanced treatment of pharmaceutical wastewater
Coagulation and sedimentation: Coagulation is the process of introducing chemical agents into wastewater, dispersing them through rapid mixing, and converting stable pollutants into unstable and precipitable substances.
After coagulation, the most commonly used method is sedimentation. Pollutants with a higher density than wastewater can be separated by gravity. Coagulation and sedimentation have some advantages, such as simple operation and mature technology, but removing dissolved organic matter is difficult.
Flotation: In addition to sedimentation, flotation can eliminate suspended solids from secondary effluent. The technology produces a large number of tiny bubbles by injecting air into wastewater, resulting in floating floc with a lower density than the wastewater.
Activated carbon adsorption: Physical adsorption and chemical adsorption are two types of activated carbon adsorption. Physical adsorption is reversible and has no adsorbate selectivity.
When activated carbon becomes saturated with adsorbates, it is simple to desorb. Chemical adsorption, on the other hand, adsorbs only one or a few specific adsorbates, which is irreversible and difficult to desorb.
Advanced oxidation processes: AOPs are advanced oxidation processes that can oxidize pollutants by producing free radicals. These pollutants cannot be degraded by a standard oxidizing agent.
Membrane separation: Membrane separation occurs when a component in water selectively permeates the membrane, under a certain driving force across the membrane using permselective membrane-separating media.
Therefore, the substance targeted can be separated, later on purified, and concentrated from the mixture. In wastewater treatment, there are several membrane separation techniques. Microfiltration, ultrafiltration, reverse osmosis, and electrodialysis are a few examples.
India is one of the world's largest pharmaceutical manufacturers. It is estimated that India is the world's third-largest producer of pharmaceuticals, with approximately 3000 drug companies and approximately 10,500 manufacturing units involved. Pharmaceutical manufacturing has been identified as one of India's most polluting industries, in various parts of the country.
Pharmaceuticals of various types have been detected in surface, ground, and even drinking water, in many Indian cities as a result of waste effluent discharge. As a result, proper management, as well as a complete and effective treatment of pharmaceutical industrial wastes and expired drugs, must be undertaken using cutting-edge tools and techniques.
How can we assist?
Netsol Water has aided in the resolution of hundreds of water-related problems, by utilizing a wide range of specialized water treatment and wastewater treatment technologies, in pharmaceutical industries of India.