Impact of wastewater treatment plants on emission of new and emerging pollutants into atmosphere

    Project: Internally funded project

    Project Details


    About the Project
    The proposed project will investigate emission of new and emerging pollutants (NEPs) from wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) into atmosphere and their impact on human health.

    WWTPs are designed to remove contaminants from domestic and municipal wastewater. WWTPs serve as a ‘repository’ of concentrated wastes from these environments and are enriched with 1000s of chemicals including pharmaceuticals, pesticides, industrial chemicals, personal care products, and microplastics, most of which are not regulated and referred to as NEPs. Although NEPs is a term used for soil and aquatic environments, most of them have chemical properties enabling their easy transfer into atmosphere. Recent reports indicate a significant number of cases of respiratory system disorders among residents in the neighbourhood of WWTPs, but the exact cause is yet to be investigated.

    The project will investigate, for the first time, the impact of WWTPs on emission of NEPs (including microplastics) into atmosphere. This will be done through analytical method development for measuring NEPs, field campaigns (near NEPs emission sources and at a background urban site), lab experiments to understand NEPs transfer mechanism from WWT and contaminated waters into ambient air and assessment of cytotoxicity and the inflammatory response in human bronchial epithelial cells cultured in vitro at air-liquid interface.
    Effective start/end date1/09/22 → …


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