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Behavior of Pharmaceuticals in Waste Water Treatment Plant in Japan


The fate of pharmaceuticals in a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in Kumamoto, Japan with activated sludge treatment is reported. Selected pharmaceuticals were detected in influent. Results from the present study confirmed that Acetaminophen, Amoxicillin, Ampicillin and Famotidine were removed at a high rate (>90% efficiency). In contrast, removal efficiency of Ketoprofen, Losartan, Oseltamivir, Carbamazepine, and Diclofenac was relatively low (<50%). The selected pharmaceuticals were also detected in raw sludge. In digestive process, Indomethacin, Atenolol, Famotidine, Trimethoprim and Cyclofosamide were removed at a high (>70% efficiency). On the other hand, removal of Carbamazepine, Ketoprofen and Diclofenac was not efficient (<50%).

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The authors thank Professor Jay Melton for his reviewing this paper for English style and usage. Any remaining errors are our responsibility.

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Correspondence to R. Shinohara.

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Matsuo, H., Sakamoto, H., Arizono, K. et al. Behavior of Pharmaceuticals in Waste Water Treatment Plant in Japan. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 87, 31–35 (2011).

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  • PPCP
  • WWTP
  • Activated sludge
  • Removal efficiency