Pilot Survey Monitoring Pharmaceuticals and Related Compounds in a Sewage Treatment Plant Located on the Mediterranean Coast

Pesticide Residue Research Group, University of Almería, 04120 Almería, Spain.
Chemosphere (Impact Factor: 3.34). 02/2007; 66(6):993-1002. DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2006.07.051
Source: PubMed


A one-year monitoring study was performed to evaluate the occurrence, persistence and fate of a group of 14 organic compounds in a sewage treatment plant (STP) located in the south of Spain. These results are part of a more extensive study, financed by the Spanish Ministry of Research with the aim to evaluate the traceability of new pollutants on the Mediterranean coast and to determine the removal efficiency of sewage treatment plants (STP) for these pollutants. The compounds which have been analyzed include pharmaceuticals of various therapeutic categories (ibuprofen, acetaminophen, dipyrone, diclofenac, carbamazepine and codeine), pesticides (chlorfenvinfos and permethrin), caffeine, triclosan, bisphenol A and three of their more relevant metabolites (1,7-dimethylxanthine, carbamazepine 10,11-epoxide and 2,7/2,8-dichlorodibenzo-p-dioxin). An SPE/GC-MS multi-residue analytical method was developed and validated to facilitate simultaneous determination of these compounds in both influent and effluent wastewater. The method provided mean recoveries higher than 75%, with the exception of 2,7/2,8-dichlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, dipyrone and permethrin which exhibited recoveries lower than 22%. The overall variability of the method was below 14%. The method detection limit (LOD) was between 1 and 100 ng l(-1) and precision, which was calculated as relative standard deviation (RSD), ranged from 1.8% to 11.2%. The application of the proposed method has allowed the identification of all the target compounds at mean concentrations which ranged from 0.12 to 134 microg l(-1) in the influent and from 0.09 to 18.0 microg l(-1) in the effluent. The removal efficiencies of the STP for these compounds varied from 20% (carbamazepine) to 99% (acetaminophen), but in all cases resulted insufficient in order to avoid their presence in treated water and subsequently in the environment.

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    • "This drug may be secreted as an unchanged molecule or as an unchanged molecule in conjugation with glucuronide (product of the second phase of detoxication that may be hydrolyzed in the environment) or as a few metabolites: hydroxyibuprofen (two isomers), carboxyibuprofen, and carboxyhydratropic acid (Halling-Sorensen et al. 1998; Buser et al. 1999; Zwiener et al. 2002). Nonetheless, little is still known about the environmental metabolism of ibuprofen, whose concentration in the environment ranges from nanograms per liter to micrograms per liter (Calamari et al. 2003; Bendz et al. 2005; Tauxe-Wuersch et al. 2005; Nakada et al. 2006; Roberts and Thomas 2006; Gómez et al. 2007; Lin et al. 2009; Pailler et al. 2009). Many reports describe only the initial steps of ibuprofen transformation. "
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    ABSTRACT: Recently, the increased use of monocyclic non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs has resulted in their presence in the environment. This may have potential negative effects on living organisms. The biotransformation mechanisms of monocyclic non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in the human body and in other mammals occur by hydroxylation and conjugation with glycine or glucuronic acid. Biotransformation/biodegradation of monocyclic non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in the environment may be caused by fungal or bacterial microorganisms. Salicylic acid derivatives are degraded by catechol or gentisate as intermediates which are cleaved by dioxygenases. The key intermediate of the paracetamol degradation pathways is hydroquinone. Sometimes, after hydrolysis of this drug, 4-aminophenol is formed, which is a dead-end metabolite. Ibuprofen is metabolized by hydroxylation or activation with CoA, resulting in the formation of isobutylocatechol. The aim of this work is to attempt to summarize the knowledge about environmental risk connected with the presence of over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs, their sources and the biotransformation and/or biodegradation pathways of these drugs.
    Water Air and Soil Pollution 10/2015; 226(10). DOI:10.1007/s11270-015-2622-0 · 1.55 Impact Factor
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    • "WWTP Removal, % References Sewage treatment plant in Spain 85 [26] "
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    ABSTRACT: Caffeine, as a typical representative of pharmaceutical pollution, was subjected to the removal from water by means of the electro-Fenton process. The study of a single-molecule solution was meant for better understanding of the influence of operating parameters on the removal rates and for finding their optimal values. The setup comprised a bench-scale reactor equipped with a boron-doped diamond anode and a 3D carbon felt cathode. Degradation and mineralization kinetics were monitored for different sets of two major operating parameters: current intensity (from 100 to 1500 mA) and Fe2+ concentration (from 0.1 to 0.5 mM). Experimental data revealed that the optimal catalyst concentration was 0.2 mM, regardless the applied current intensity. For experiments on degradation kinetics, the trend of increasing the reaction rate with an increasing current was valid up to 300 mA. In contrast, the mineralization rate increased up to 1500 mA. The absolute reaction rate constant between caffeine and hydroxyl radical was determined as (2.48 ± 0.01) × 109 M-1 s-1. A follow-up of aromatic compounds, carboxylic acids and inorganic ions, enabled composition of a plausible degradation pathway for caffeine degradation by hydroxyl radicals. An analysis of the operating parameters versus evolution of degradation and mineralization showed that even small concentrations of Fe2+ and low current intensities led to complete degradation and almost complete mineralization.
    Separation and Purification Technology 09/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.seppur.2015.09.055 · 3.09 Impact Factor
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    • "The efficiency of the treatment process was and still is the subject of many studies (e.g. Bester, 2004; Gómez et al., 2007; Simonich et al., 2002; Ternes, 1998; Yang et al., 2011). However, the fate of micropollutants after their release into the environment is poorly understood and only few data exist concerning environmental removal rates (Köhler and Triebskorn, 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: Increasing numbers of organic micropollutants are emitted into rivers via municipal wastewaters. Due to their persistence many pollutants pass wastewater treatment plants without substantial removal. Transport and fate of pollutants in receiving waters and export to downstream ecosystems is not well understood. In particular, a better knowledge of processes governing their environmental behavior is needed. Although a lot of data are available concerning the ubiquitous presence of micropollutants in rivers, accurate data on transport and removal rates are lacking. In this paper, a mass balance approach is presented, which is based on the Lagrangian sampling scheme, but extended to account for precise transport velocities and mixing along river stretches. The calculated mass balances allow accurate quantification of pollutants' reactivity along river segments. This is demonstrated for representative members of important groups of micropollutants, e.g. pharmaceuticals, musk fragrances, flame retardants, and pesticides. A model-aided analysis of the measured data series gives insight into the temporal dynamics of removal processes. The occurrence of different removal mechanisms such as photooxidation, microbial degradation, and volatilization is discussed. The results demonstrate, that removal processes are highly variable in time and space and this has to be considered for future studies. The high precision sampling scheme presented could be a powerful tool for quantifying removal processes under different boundary conditions and in river segments with contrasting properties. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    Science of The Total Environment 08/2015; 540. DOI:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.07.135 · 4.10 Impact Factor
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