Evaluating Pharmaceutical Sorption to Soils and Ground Water from an Eastern North Carolinian Family Farm

Brittany Ford


The fate and transport of pharmaceuticals through soil and ground water is an important research topic because their possible toxic environmental effects.  Representative sites are often used for testing the probability of a compound to adsorb to the soil or spread within the groundwater.  In this study, the Brisson Farm in North Carolina was selected as a representative site due to the recent disposal of multiple pharmaceuticals into the septic tank on the property and the lack of organic carbon in the soil. This research used batch experiments to calculate sorption coefficients for various pharmaceuticals that were disposed of on August 24, 2012.  It is commonly thought that organic carbon content is the key factor in determining the fate of such chemicals. Data from this study provides evidence that soil minerals have a distinct role in the adsorption, fate, and transport of a medication.  Results from the Brisson Farm were compared to other representative soils in the mountains of Western North Carolina and various soil components.

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