Relative risk assessment of cruise ships biosolids disposal alternatives

Pedro M. Avellaneda, James D. Englehardt, Josefina Olascoaga, Elizabeth A. Babcock, Larry Brand, Diego Lirman, Wolfgang F. Rogge, Helena Solo-Gabriele, George Tchobanoglous

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


A relative risk assessment of biosolids disposal alternatives for cruise ships is presented in this paper. The area of study encompasses islands and marine waters of the Caribbean Sea. The objective was to evaluate relative human health and ecological risks of (a) dewatering/incineration, (b) landing the solids for disposal, considering that in some countries land-disposed solids might be discharged in the near-shore environment untreated, and (c) deep ocean disposal. Input to the Bayesian assessment consisted of professional judgment based on available literature and modeling information, data on constituent concentrations in cruise ship biosolids, and simulations of constituent concentrations in Caribbean waters assuming ocean disposal. Results indicate that human health and ecological risks associated with land disposal and shallow ocean disposal are higher than those of the deep ocean disposal and incineration. For incineration, predicted ecological impacts were lower relative to deep ocean disposal before considering potential impacts of carbon emissions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2157-2169
Number of pages13
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • Biosolids
  • Caribbean
  • Cruise
  • Disposal
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Oceanography
  • Pollution


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