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Volume 6, Pages 1731-1736
Mini-Review Article

Pharmaceutical Compounds in Wastewater: Wetland Treatment as a Potential Solution

1Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences Wetland Biogeochemistry Institute Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
2Worsfold Water Quality Centre Trent University, Peterborough, Ont. K9J 7B8, Canada

Received 26 August 2006; Revised 4 December 2006; Accepted 7 December 2006

Academic Editor: Karl E. Havens

Copyright © 2006 John R. White et al.


Pharmaceutical compounds are being released into the aquatic environment through wastewater discharge around the globe. While there is limited removal of these compounds within wastewater treatment plants, wetland treatment might prove to be an effective means to reduce the discharge of the compounds into the environment. Wetlands can promote removal of these pharmaceutical compounds through a number of mechanisms including photolysis, plant uptake, microbial degradation, and sorption to the soil. We review relevant laboratory research on these various mechanisms and provide data on the few studies that have examined wetland removal. There is a need to document the degree to which various pharmaceutical compounds are removed in full-scale treatment wetlands, as there is a paucity of data on overall pharmaceutical removal rates.