Chemicals survive waste water treatment: study
A government funded study says chemicals in many household drugs and cleaning products routinely survive waste water treatment and get released into the environment.
Research consultant Hugh Monteith conducted the study for the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment.
He examined treatment in 11 communities, analyzing so-called “biosolids” after they were treated at waste water plants. Such biosolids are often spread on fields or used in land reclamation.
He looked for 82 different chemicals, including bisphenol A, which this week was declared a toxic substance by Canada’s federal government.
Monteith’s study found dozen of the compounds were still present in more than half the treated samples.
Bisphenol A remained in 86 per cent of the treated samples.
Antibiotics, fragrance compounds, anti-fungal agents and painkillers all survived treatment in more than two-thirds of the samples, the study found.
Monteith says it’s hard to say to if any of the chemicals have reached dangerous levels — noting that safe levels haven’t been set for most of them.