Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) have emerged as a group of potential environmental contaminants of concern. The occurrence of gemfibrozil, a lipid-regulating drug, was studied in the influent and effluent at a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and groundwater below a land application site receiving treated effluent from the WWTP. In addition, the sorption of gemfibrozil in two loam soils and sand was assessed, and biological degradation rates in two soil types under aerobic conditions were also determined. Results showed that concentrations of gemfibrozil in wastewater influent, effluent, and groundwater were in the range of 3.47 to 63.8 µg/L, 0.08 to 19.4 µg/L, and undetectable to 6.86 µg/L, respectively. Data also indicated that gemfibrozil in the wastewater could reach groundwater following land application of the treated effluent. Soil–water distribution coefficients for gemfibrozil, determined by the batch equilibrium method, varied with organic carbon content in the soils. The sorption capacity was silt loam > sandy loam > sand. Under aerobic conditions, dissipation half-lives for gemfibrozil in sandy loam and silt loam soils were 17.8 and 20.6 days, respectively; 25.4 and 11.3% of gemfibrozil was lost through biodegradation from the two soils over 14 days. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2012;31:550–555. © 2011 SETAC
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