Traces of pharmaceuticals, typically at levels in the nanograms to low micrograms per liter range, have been reported in the water cycle, including surface waters, wastewater, groundwater and, to a lesser extent, drinking-water. Advances in analytical technology have been a key factor driving their increased detection.
Hospital wastewater is a major source of micro and nanopollutants and toxic chemicals. In Lebanon, most hospitals do not have wastewater treatment plant and the generated wastewater goes into primitive septic tanks that end up draining into the soil and percolate to the aquatic bodies or the sea, causing serious environmental hazards. Wastewater from hospitals can contain traces of anything from viruses and multi-resistant bacteria to medical contrast agents and chemicals for cancer treatment. Small amounts of hormone-disrupting substances and other medicine residues are also part of the mix that passes from patients through hospital toilets and into public sewer systems.
I graduated from Saint-Joseph University in Lebanon with two degrees. I pursued a Bachelor degree in Life and Earth Science-Biochemistry from 2012 until 2015, followed by a Master degree in Food chemistry from 2015 until 2017.