Ozone to sanitize pharmaceutical water

Posted by Joel Leusink on September 21, 2013 under Pharmaceutical | Be the First to Comment

Ozone: A New Water Management Paradigm

Producing and sanitizing pharmaceutical water isn’t easy — but there are options for doing both less expensively

By Erika Hanley-Onken, MKS Instruments Inc.

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Access to clean water is one of the most important factors considered in selection and development of a new manufacturing facility. Without readily available appropriately clean water, processing would be nearly impossible, changeover and cleaning of reusable equipment would cease, and overall production would grind to a stop.

For example, in the United States, incoming water into any manufacturing facility must meet a minimum standard of EPA drinking water. This municipally treated water is only a first step to the processing required by the pharmaceutical industry to bring this water up to pharmacopoeia standards for Purified Water (PW) per USP <1231>. Commonly used technologies to manufacture PW and other compendial waters include softening, reverse osmosis (RO), deionization (DI), dechlorination, (ultra)filtration and even distillation.

A comprehensive water management plan must address all the water in the facility, including its treatment, storage, delivery and handling. Part of this control plan requires understanding the needs for both periodic and continuous sanitization to mitigate and prevent the buildup of contaminants such as biofilm within the water system.

What is ozone and what does it do?
Among the alternatives available for water sanitization, ozone is recognized as an excellent option for disinfecting biopharmaceutical water systems. Ozone (O3) is a highly reactive molecule made up of three atoms of oxygen, which decays back to oxygen. Care must be taken because ozone is also a toxic gas characterized by a strong, pungent smell.

ozone

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Pharmaceuticals in FIsh

Posted by Jamie Hansmann on April 2, 2013 under Pharmaceutical | Be the First to Comment

A recent Time news article, “Tipsy Fish: When Anti-Anxiety Meds Get Into Rivers”, discusses the effect that pharmaceutical-laden wastewater discharge may have on the behavior of aquatic life – even though these micropollutant discharges are not considered toxic by current testing standards.

The article cites a Swedish study where perch, a type of schooling fish, were pulled from rivers downstream of a wastewater treatment facility.  These fish showed a bio-accumulation of Oxazepam, an anti-anxiety medication.  Further lab testing showed that perch exposed to higher levels of Oxazepam became more agressive and willing to strike out on their own.

This sort of behavior is completely out of the ordinary for schooling fish.  Indeed, a solitary schooling fish on its own in nature would almost certainly lead to its untimely demise.  So while this particular drug is not toxic to the fish in a classic sense, it could have detrimental affects on fish populations due to changes in behavioral mechanisms.

How does this relate to the world of ozone?  Current wastewater treatment technology fails to break down most micropollutants, including pharmaceuticals, which allows them to pass calmly into our rivers and lakes.  One possible solution being tested by wastewater researchers is the use of ozone to combat these micropollutants.  If the introduction of ozone does indeed prove successful at removing micropollutants from wastewater, it is one solution that may stem the ever-increasing tide of pharmaceuticals produced by our modern society.

If not, we can at least look forward to a future boom in wild-caught fish for the treatment of anxiety.

For more information about ozone research relating to micropollutants and pharmaceuticals, check out the IOA’s Ozone Engineering journal abstracts by searching the links here:

Ozone Pharmaceutical Research

Ozone Micropollutant Research