Timing matters : defining temporal occurrence and associated water quality hazards for contaminants of emerging concern in municipal effluent.
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Garbarino, Matthew A., 1991-
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To understand environmental hazards and risks posed by contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) it is imperative to define the magnitude, frequency and duration of exposure, because temporal variability of environmental introduction concentrations of CECs from effluent discharges remain relatively unstudied. The primary objective of the current study was to understand the temporal variability of the occurrence and hazards associated with targeted pharmaceuticals, including select drugs of abuse, in effluent discharges at differing temporal scales. Significant (p<0.05) temporal variability of occurrence and associated hazards of target analytes were observed. Based on the compounds we selected and a recommended safety factor, water quality hazards to aquatic organisms exceeded therapeutic hazard ratios for all compounds examined except for acetaminophen and ketamine. However, antibiotics did not exceed resistance hazard ratios. These results suggest effluent discharges should be monitored for CECs across seasons.