Current research trends on emerging contaminants pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs): A comprehensive review

Sci Total Environ. 2023 Feb 10;859(Pt 1):160031. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.160031. Epub 2022 Nov 10.


Pharmaceutical and personnel care products (PPCPs) from wastewater are a potential hazard to the human health and wildlife, and their occurrence in wastewater has caught the concern of researchers recently. To deal with PPCPs, various treatment technologies have been evolved such as physical, biological, and chemical methods. Nevertheless, modern and efficient techniques such as advance oxidation processes (AOPs) demand expensive chemicals and energy, which ultimately leads to a high treatment cost. Therefore, integration of chemical techniques with biological processes has been recently suggested to decrease the expenses. Furthermore, combining ozonation with activated carbon (AC) can significantly enhance the removal efficiency. There are some other emerging technologies of lower operational cost like photo-Fenton method and solar radiation-based methods as well as constructed wetland, which are promising. However, feasibility and practicality in pilot-scale have not been estimated for most of these advanced treatment technologies. In this context, the present review work explores the treatment of emerging PPCPs in wastewater, via available conventional, non-conventional, and integrated technologies. Furthermore, this work focused on the state-of-art technologies via an extensive literature search, highlights the limitations and challenges of the prevailing commercial technologies. Finally, this work provides a brief discussion and offers future research directions on technologies needed for treatment of wastewater containing PPCPs, accompanied by techno-economic feasibility assessment.

Keywords: Biological treatment; Chemical treatment; Emerging contaminants (ECs); Hybrid technologies; Pharmaceutical and personnel care products (PPCPs); Physical treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cosmetics*
  • Humans
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Waste Disposal, Fluid / methods
  • Wastewater
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical* / analysis


  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Wastewater
  • Cosmetics
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations