Integrating Engineered Wetlands with Crop Irrigation: An Evaluation of Chemical Uptake Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Alatorre, Ramón DC
    • Affiliation: Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering
  • The potential for ELISAs (Enzyme Linked Immunosorbant Assays) to track the fate of micropollutants in crops grown through irrigation with wastewater from a decentralized, engineered wetland-type reclamation system, was realized in a controlled greenhouse study. Caffeine was observed within sweet potato tissue between 0 and 9 ng/g when irrigated with tap water and between 16 and 21ng/g when irrigated with reclaimed (unmodified and spiked with elevated levels of chemical) wastewater sources, indicating uptake of between 2 and 10% of the total estimated mass applied. Analysis of a sweet potato from a local grocery store detected caffeine between 6 and 8ng/g. Triclosan was only observed within the sweet potato tissue of crops grown with the wastewater spiked with elevated levels of the chemical and, even then, only between 4 and 11ng/g, indicating less than 2% uptake of the estimated mass applied. The results indicate limited uptake of the target compounds.
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  • In Copyright
  • Weinberg, Howard
  • Master of Science
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2012

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